Judging from early drafts, many people don't believe in Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton much. He is being drafted outside of the Top 10 closers. There are very few reliable closers anymore and Broxton was dominant before last season's second-half fade.
Broxton was dominant in the first half last season, throwing 32 2/3 innings with a 59/5 K/BB ratio and a 0.48 ERA while converting 16 of 18 saves. Then on June 26 against the Yankees, he threw 19 pitches in the ninth inning of a 9-4 win.
The following day he threw 48 pitches in one inning and allowed four hits, four runs and walked two to blow a 6-2 lead. It was the fourth time he pitched in five days. He wasn’t the same the rest of the way and the velocity on his fastball decreased.
I don't think it's a coincidence Broxton declined the rest of the way after such a heavy workload. Broxton pitched 29 2/3 innings in the final three months with a 25/23 K/BB ratio and converted just six of 11 saves.
He his job as closer to Kenley Jansen and Hong-Chih Kuo. There's no question Broxton wasn't right in the second half and might have been pitching through an injury. A closer isn't used to throwing 48 pitches in one outing and especially in a span of pitching four times in five days.
I have to think that outing ruined him for the rest of the season, especially considering how good he was prior to that game. Broxton did suffer from an unlucky .366 BABIP and allowed just four home runs.
Outside of the top few closers, there is very little reliability. I would definitely take the chance on Broxton based on his low value right now. Joe Torre is no longer managing in Los Angeles and he's been known to abuse his relievers. Broxton's value has also dropped because there are two good options behind him in the Dodgers bullpen, but Broxton will start the season with the job and should bounce back. I see a bounce back season from Broxton and you can get him at a discount.
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