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Jonathan Broxton out as primary closer?

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told KABC radio today that Jonathan Broxton will no longer be the primary closer for the Dodgers until he rights himself. Manager Don Mattingly said that Broxton is still the closer.

Broxton blew his first save of the season last night and took the loss against the Dodgers. Broxton has been shaky this season, but last night was not his fault. Broxton started the inning with a strikeout and ground out. He allowed a single and issued a walk before inducing a grounder to shortstop Jamey Carroll and it went under his glove for an error and tied the score at 4. After an intentional walk, Omar Infante hit a line drive to leftfield that Jerry Sands misjudged, taking a few steps in before it went over his head for a winning single.

Broxton shouldn't have had a blown save last night, but he hasn't been sharp. The average velocity on his fastball was 97 in 2009, 95 last season and 94 this year. Broxton isn't getting the strikeouts he once did and the walks that plagued him in the second half last season continue to plague him.

He had a 13.50 K/9 in 2009 that dipped to 10.54 last season and just 6.97 this season. Broxton had a 3.43 BB/9 in 2009, 4.04 in 2010 and 6.10 this season. Hong Chih-Kuo and Vicente Padilla are also expected to be a part of the committee. Kuo is currently on the disabled list and eligible to return Friday and I'd assume he would get most lefthanders. Padilla recently returned from elbow surgery and allowed two hits, one walk and one run in the eighth inning last night.

Kuo has great skills, but has had several elbow surgeries and is dealing with a back strain. He rarely pitches consecutive days either. Kuo is the pickup before Padilla if Broxton is going to be part of a committee.

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