Broxton's velocity in rehab encouraging to LA

Broxton's velocity in rehab encouraging to LA

Broxton's velocity in rehab encouraging to LA
LOS ANGELES -- The run Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton allowed during his one-inning rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday didn't seem to matter to Don Mattingly.

Instead, the Dodgers manager focused on the reports he got noting the right-hander's velocity. He said it was in the mid-90s throughout the inning, an increase from the low-90s fastball Broxton was throwing before going on the disabled list.

Broxton, who has missed six weeks with a bruised bone in his elbow, struck out two and allowed a walk that scored on a two-out double.

Mattingly said eventually he thinks Broxton will fall back into the closer's role. He won't throw him directly into the ninth inning, but he said the team has the best chance to win if Broxton's velocity is enough to warrant being the team's closer.

"It's hard to just bring a guy back ... and just throw him into that ninth-inning spot," Mattingly said. "I think we try to get him into some games, get him comfortable on the mound, see where he's at and get him there."

Broxton had a 5.68 ERA with seven saves before going on the DL. Mattingly said he thought Broxton's struggles were a product of his lower velocity as a result of the injury.

"When a guy goes from 98-99, and a year later he's 91, something's going on," Mattingly said. "That usually doesn't lie. You could say mechanics this or mechanics that, but at some point that's a big difference. And the fact that it's jumped in his first outing back kind of shows there was something going on there."