07/12/2007 9:50 AM ET
Broxton: Strong bullpen in LA
Jonathan Broxton has a 2.80 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 45 innings this season. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Our bullpen is a strength this year with the Dodgers. You get us a lead going into the seventh, eighth or ninth inning and we're confident the game is ours.
The whole club has been put together well. We have a lot of leaders and a good mix of veterans and young guys. It's a lot of fun right now.
I guess you could describe my role right now as a setup guy. I might be somewhat pegged as an eighth-inning guy, but I feel I can pitch in any inning my team needs me. If I can come into the game and help the team win, I'm very happy, whether it's the fourth inning or the eighth.
Our closer, Takashi Saito, is a great guy. He's a veteran who knows how to pitch. He played for a while in Japan, where he's from, and had a lot of success over there. Now he's here having the same success. He challenges hitters and he can still get it up there.
There is a little bit of a language barrier. We do, however, spend a lot of time in the bullpen and we talk a lot. We just keep it simple. We teach him a little English here and there and, in exchange, he teaches us a thing or two in Japanese.
One guy we're missing in our bullpen is Yhency Brazoban. He had just come back from a major injury and now he's hurt again. Brazoban is a great guy. He throws hard and really challenges guys when he is out there.
I may not be a rookie any more, but I'm still taking all of this in. I'm still learning a lot from all the guys. I try to stand out of the way and take notes from some of the veterans. I try to just go out on the mound and challenge guys.
If everything holds together -- and there's no reason to think it won't -- we expect to be back in the postseason this season as well. We have a talented club and we're confident.
Jonathan Broxton established himself as one of the game's bright young closers of the future after he posted a 4-1 record with a 2.59 ERA and three saves over 76 1/3 innings last season. A hard-throwing 23-year-old from Georgia, Broxton has a 2.80 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 45 innings this season, holding batters to a .209 average.