So long, Jonathan Broxton

On July 31st, the Reds were coming off what was an impressive 10 game winning streak, which promoted Reds Radio announcer Marty Brennaman to shave his head from a bet and would charity the money for shaving his head in front of thousands of fans. That was happening when the Reds were 62-41 without Joey Votto, but the more important part of July 31st was the acquisition of Kansas City Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton. 

Broxton became a star and quite successful from his Los Angeles Dodger Days, going to the 2009 and 2010 All-Star games. In his 7 seasons with the Dodgers, he composed good numbers with an ERA+ 132 and 2.71 FIP. The most impressive part of Broxton is the K/9, it was 11.5. If an inning per appearance occurred, he had a 42.6% chance of striking out a batter, would strikeout at least 2 batters in an inning. His departure from LA was from regression and under performing in his last 2 seasons, even though he was an all-star in 2010. Broxton simply was a part of LA during the Pre-arbitration and arbitration days, Los Angeles didn’t want to invest a player in Broxton. Pack the bags, sign with another team.

In 2012, he found a team in Kansas City. He pitched well for the Royals that season, posting a 2.27 ERA at the time and had a 185 ERA+. That prompted Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty to pick up the phone and trade prospects for Broxton. Broxton was a brilliant pickup for the Reds at the time because it formed “Nasty Boys 2.0”, the crew of Sean Marshall, Broxton and Aroldis Chapman. His efforts for a postseason bound team made this move by Jocketty looked good, and it did. Reds went on to win the National League Central by 9 games and claim the 2nd seed in the National League. In the 25 appearances for the 2012 Reds, he posted a 2.82 ERA, 148 ERA+ and 2.42 FIP. It was impressive to land him the postseason spot.

Broxton appeared in 3 games of the NLDS. He pitched in Game 3, the game that saw the Reds lose confidence. A ball that went inside and past Ryan Hanigan allowed the Giants to score the winning run in a elimination game for the Giants. The only thing about that game was the start of Homer Bailey, who had a no-hitter two weeks earlier and nearly no-hit the Giants in that game. Broxton errant throw may have cost the Reds the series sweep and potential World Series. Can’t blame Broxton, because leading 2-0 in a series meant winning only one more game, the other two games would be considered insurance at the time.

Following that postseason, Jocketty signs Broxton to a 3 year-$21 million contract. Most fans did not like the contract because it was considered overpaid. Most fans actually hate Jocketty’s extension contracts for players that aren’t homegrown. Did Jocketty learn a lesson? Who knows, but it’s a gamble and performance from the 2012 year that motivated Jocketty and Broxton for a contract extension.

The start of 2013 did not bode well for Broxton. Broxton appeared in the first 6 games with allowing 1 run in 4 innings, the run was a blown save for Mat Latos. After not pitching for 5 games on April 7th, Broxton was rusty and blow another game for Mat Latos by allowing 6 runs in the 8th inning and earning the loss. It took Broxton 5 more games after that to allow no runs before the next two appearances allowing 2 runs in 2 days, but the Reds ended up winning those games. Broxton pitched 8 more games in 18 days to only allow 2 runs and win one game in the process. Overall, Broxton pitched well in 2013, but early season struggles hurt his 2013 campaign. Another factor for Broxton is that a blown elbow ended his 2013 season. A setback for Broxton after making $5 million in 2013.

2014, the comeback. Broxton had elbow surgery and was delayed in returning to work in Spring Training. After only being out for 9 games for the 2014 season, Broxton returned. In his first 8 games, Broxton did not allow a runner to score. The first 8 games saw 5 saves because of Chapman’s freak accident in Spring Training. Broxton had more scoreless appearances, one lasted 32 days. Broxton on June 20th had a 0.77 ERA in 23.1 innings. From up to August 29th (last appearance as a Red), Broxton had a 4-2 record, 21 holds and 7 saves. Broxton ended his 2014 campaign with an 1.86 ERA as well. Only 10 baserunners managed to score in 51 games, a 19.61% chance of actually scoring on Broxton.

Overall, a thank you is necessary for his efforts. Thank You Jonathan Broxton for your efforts and best of luck with the Milwaukee Brewers in your 2014 and 2015 campaigns.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

CINCINNATI REDS

  • 101.1 IP/79 H/34 R/31 ER/32 BB/82 SO/8 HR
  • BAA .206/ERA 2.75/WHIP 1.10
  • GRADE: 85.75% (B)
  • RATES: 19.32% H/8.31% R/7.82% BB/20.05% SO/1.96% HR
  • PER 9: 7.02 H/3.02 R/2.84 BB/7.28 SO/0.71 HR
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