So Here’s Your Closer By Committee (Update: Kinda Not Really)

Hard to say this was entirely unexpected. Molly Knight, hit me:

Ned Colletti says Broxton is being removed as Dodgers primary closer until he gets his confidence back. Team will use Padilla/Brox/Kuo.

This sounds momentous. This sounds like Jonathan Broxton has lost his job. But don’t think you’re rid of him yet. Hong-Chih Kuo‘s on the disabled list through Friday at least, and must always be used tenderly. Vicente Padilla hasn’t gone on consecutive nights since 2001, and didn’t look any better than Broxton did last night. (This raises the fun question of who tonight’s closer is, assuming Broxton won’t go three days in a row and if Padilla’s not ready for back-to-back nights so soon off arm surgery. Mike MacDougal, anyone? Ugh.) So the big man is still going to get his chances, like it or not.

As for the idea of whether Broxton should be removed… well, you know how I feel by now. He’s not doing that well, he hasn’t for a while, he probably doesn’t deserve the job right now, and if there’s a better option, then by all means go for it. I’m just not sure that there is a better option, and I mainly find the timing of this odd. Half of my point after last night’s mess was that it shouldn’t have been seen as any sort of turning point. Broxton’s been several shades of mediocre all season, and he wasn’t really any better or worse than usual last night; if anything, you could argue that he was slightly better, because he didn’t give up a homer, merely a terrible walk and then a single to a great hitter. The only difference is that the luck that sustained him through the first five not-entirely-deserved saves failed him last night, thanks to Jamey Carroll and Jerry Sands. So to make an announcement, especially on a night where Broxton was almost certain to not pitch anyway, seems needlessly premature. I’m sure it’ll satiate the masses’ lust for blood, however.

Update: So…

Broxton was told by Mattingly that he is still the #Dodgers’ closer.

Broxton heard TV analysts say #Dodgers would go to closer by committee. Mattingly called him into his office to clarify that wasn’t case.

That’s two tweets from Dylan Hernandez just now, claiming that everything you know is wrong. As I’d said above, the move didn’t really seem to make sense coming when it did. And… it didn’t come at all, apparently.

That said, I think we’ll still be having this conversation in a week or two.

******

As expected, Xavier Paul didn’t make it through waivers and is now a Pirate, following in the footsteps of Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young. The Pirates generally pick near the top of the waiver list so this sounds like Paul didn’t get that far down the list. Sad to see him be lost for nothing, though I’ll admit that neither Young nor LaRoche really worked out there. Best of luck, Xavier. ESPN’s Keith Law actually put some praise on him, noting that he’s better than an organizational guy, and could be a bench bat. That’s high praise from Law.

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