LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Broxton insists that 91-mph radar-gun reading on Friday night is no reason to panic. "Everything's fine," said Broxton, whose fastball ranged from 91-95 mph against the Angels. "Nothing is hurting or sore. This is not the time to worry about velocity. I don't care about the numbers, as long as I feel good and the ball is coming out fine. You get extra adrenaline once the real games start." Broxton has a 2.79 spring ERA, but the closer has two strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. In his career, he is averaging nearly 12 strikeouts per nine innings, the highest ratio in the Major Leagues over the past four years.
Broxton has had a history of nerve problems in his right big toe, and he wraps his right ankle in padding to compensate for the custom inserts in his shoe, but he said his toe isn't a problem. Broxton led the league in triple-digit fastballs last year, but he said he expects to throw around 94-95 mph when the season starts. "You've got to build your arm strength," he said. "The first month and a half, you build. I was talking to [Eric] Gagne about that this spring, getting by early with 90 percent. You can't come out and be 100 percent in April, or by July and August you won't have anything left in the tank. Peak too soon and you go down early. When the bats start speeding up, the arm gets quicker and the adrenaline kicks in."