Once it was announced that Joakim Soria would undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the Kansas City Royals had a decision to make. While it took them until the evening before their Opening Day contest to make anything official, the Royals have announced that Jonathan Broxton will enter the 2012 season as their closer.
The decision came down to Broxton or Greg Holland. Though Holland posted superior numbers in 2011, Broxton has more experience closing games and the Royals are paying him $4 million this season.
Still only 27, Broxton has seven years of major league experience under his belt. The big right-hander emerged as one of the best closers in the game as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, maintaining an ERA and WHIP of 2.61 and 0.961 with 13.5 SO/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
Broxton made his second All-Star appearance in 2010, but the wheels started coming off last season. Broxton’s WHIP (1.895) and BB/9 (6.4) jumped considerably while his SO/9 dropped to 7.1.
Now healthy, the Royals are hoping Broxton can return to his 2009 form. He could get his first opportunity this evening as the Royals open up in Los Angeles against the Angels.
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