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Fantasy Baseball: Is It Time To Worry About Jonathan Broxton?

The Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton has been one of the more dominating closers for the past year. This year he has saved 25 games, with a 78/22 K/BB ratio, a 3.25 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 7 wins. But, he has blown two saves in the last week. The most recent was Saturday night where he gave up not one, but two HRs in the 9th inning to allow the Diamondbacks to tie the game.

Broxton is not one to give up the homerun ball. Last year, he gave up on 2 HRs in 69 innings. In 2009, he has already given up 4 HRs in 52+ innings. This year has increased his K/9 rate from 11.5 to 13.3, and increased his K/BB ratio from 3.26 to 3.55.

But, if you look at his last 7 appearances, covering 7 innings going back to July 29th, he has struck out only 8, while walking 3, allowed 8 hits, 2 HRs, and 5 earned runs. Broxton has been dealing with a lingering toe injury on his right foot, his push off foot.

And here is a stat that I found startling, from LA DodgerTalk (www.ladodgertalk.com):

Here’s the bottom line:  Jon Broxton has a career 65% save percentage and George Sherrill has an 81% save percentage (by contrast, Mariano Rivera has a 92% save percentage).

The Dodgers traded for Orioles closer George Sherrill before the July 31st trade deadline to setup Broxton, but the time may be approaching for the Dodgers to turn to Sherrill to close out games for them should Broxton continue to struggle.

Since coming over to the Dodgers, Sherrill has thrown 8+ shutout innings, giving up 6 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 6 batters. For the season, Sherrill has 20 saves, a 1.99 ERA nad 1.13 WHIP, with a 45/16 K/BB ratio in 49+ innings.

Roto and fantasy owners should monitor this situation closely to see if Broxton can get over Saturday's blown save. If he continues to struggle, Sherrill would be the easy choice to close, and could grab 10 saves over the next month and a half.