Yost chooses Broxton to close

Yost chooses Broxton to close

ANAHEIM -- Although manager Ned Yost maintained throughout Spring Training that he wouldn't name a replacement for disabled closer Joakim Soria, on Thursday he did pick Jonathan Broxton for that role, at least initially.

Broxton, a two-time All-Star when he was the Dodgers' closer, got the nod over Greg Holland by virtue of his experience.

"If we got a save situation in the eighth inning, then Holland's coming in and we're going to turn it over to Broxton [in the ninth]," Yost said.

But Yost will not lean on Broxton, who is coming off elbow surgery, on a daily basis at this point.

"If we get into two or three save situations in a row, Broxton will get two of three and Holland will get one. I'm not going to pound Broxton out there two and three and four days in a row," Yost said.

"The roles will define themselves, but that's how we're starting it. We're starting with Broxton closing it out, Holland in the eighth and then we'll have [Jose] Mijares, [Aaron] Crow, [Tim] Collins and [Kelvin] Herrera [as the] guys from the third inning on to the seventh inning. By that, I mean I've told them I want them focused in on the game from the third inning on. Because if we get in trouble in the third or fourth inning, I'm going to bring one of those guys in to stop the bleeding and then put [Everett] Teaford in the game to get us to our backend guys."

In short, if trouble strikes a starter early in the game, Yost's plan is to counterattack with his best available reliever to put out the fire, then go to his long man, Teaford, to start the next inning.

"I want to stop it, I want to keep us in the game," Yost said. "Too many times, I've put the long guy in and the game gets out of hand. I want to put one of my best relievers in the game right there to stop it, even though it's in the third inning. Then, bring in Teaford and he, hopefully, can get us through two or three to get us back to our guys where we can battle back and get into the game. So it doesn't get away from us real early."