Jonathan Broxton goes on disabled list
Reporting from New York
Jonathan Broxton could be sidelined because of a bruised elbow for more than a month, considering his rehabilitation program prohibits him from throwing a baseball for the next two to three weeks.
With Broxton placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, Manager Don Mattingly said converted starter Vicente Padilla would be the Dodgers’ primary closer.
Kenley Jansen was called up from double-A Chattanooga to replace Broxton on the active roster. Jansen was demoted five days earlier.
Broxton underwent an MRI exam Wednesday that revealed a bone bruise and a bone spur in the back of his right elbow. There was no structural damage.
Broxton said he and the team were presented with a choice: rest three or four days and return in a limited capacity or shut down completely for a few weeks and make a full recovery.
“They said I could take three, four days off and not pitch on back-to-back days,” Broxton said. “But they said it would be an injury [waiting] to happen.”
Broxton has walked nine batters in 12 2/3 innings and has an earned-run average of 5.68.
The embattled closer said team physician Neal ElAttrache explained to him that what happened to his elbow is fairly common among power pitchers. The physician’s theory, as explained by Broxton, was that his elbow joint opens and closes violently when he throws a pitch, resulting in bruising and buildup of fluid.
Broxton maintained that his elbow has bothered him only after he has pitched. But ElAttrache told him the bruising would explain why his fastball velocity has fluctuated.
“Doctor said it’s probably been going on for a while,” Broxton said.
Broxton wouldn’t link the problem to his loss of form in the second half of last season.
“I don’t think it was happening last year,” he said. “I think it could have started in spring.”
But Broxton didn’t tell the Dodgers’ medical staff that his elbow was bothering him until Wednesday.
He also kept quiet when he hurt his toe in 2009. The injury was revealed only because then-coach Larry Bowa noticed him limping off the field.
Asked whether he would be more open with the medical staff in the future, Broxton replied, “No.”
“You’re always going to feel something,” he said.
Mattingly said that would have to change.
“You love guys who want to play and want to be out there,” Mattingly said. “I told him it’s honorable that he wants to play. But there has to be a fine line there. If you can’t perform to your ability, at this level, you’re not going to get away with it.”
Rafael Furcal, who has been sidelined for three weeks because of a broken thumb, resumed baseball activities. He played catch and is scheduled to start hitting Saturday. … Rod Barajas, who played for the Mets last season, hit a second-inning home run in his return to Citi Field. Barajas has six home runs, tying him with Matt Kemp for the most on the team. … Jansen struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. He lowered his ERA to 6.91.
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