PHOENIX -- Groomed over the last two seasons to one day take over as the Dodgers' closer, Jonathan Broxton was named by Manager Joe Torre on Friday as the replacement for the injured Takashi Saito.
For a day.
"He'll be the closer tonight," Torre said.
Torre said that with Saito recovering from a sprained ligament in his right elbow and facing the possibility of surgery, the 24-year-old Broxton would get "most of the opportunities" to close games. But noting that a hard thrower like Broxton -- he has been clocked at 100 mph this season -- has to be rested frequently, Torre said others could pitch in the ninth inning.
Chan Ho Park was moved out of the rotation and back into the bullpen, only not as a long reliever this time. Torre said that if Park proves he can handle pitching on back-to-back days, he will be used as a setup man or closer. Left-handers Joe Beimel and Hong-Chih Kuo also could close games if matchups are favorable.
Broxton, who had a 3.40 earned-run average at the All-Star break, entered Friday's game against Arizona with five saves in his career, none this season.
When Broxton was being interviewed by reporters Friday afternoon, Derek Lowe walked by and joked that the new role would force the soft-spoken pitcher to speak to the media more frequently.
"Doesn't matter to me," Broxton said. "It probably won't be much, but I'll talk."
New hitting coaches
Don Mattingly wasn't the only addition to the Dodgers' coaching staff Friday, when he replaced Mike Easler as hitting coach. Also on hand was Jeff Pentland, who was fired as the Seattle Mariners' hitting coach last month and hired as a roving hitting instructor in the Dodgers organization. How long Pentland will stay with the major league club remains undetermined.
"I might be up here two weeks, I might be up a month, I might be up a week," said Pentland, who worked with Andruw Jones during his rehab assignment in triple-A Las Vegas.
Johnson called up
Saito was moved to the 15-day disabled list and his place on the active roster was taken by Jason Johnson, whose contract was purchase from Las Vegas. Johnson, who pitched three innings in relief Friday, is scheduled to start in Colorado on Tuesday and take the place in the rotation that belonged to Park, who moved back into the bullpen.
Johnson said he received the phone call from assistant general manager DeJon Watson informing him of his call-up while on a date Thursday night near his home in Tampa, Fla. He flew to Arizona on Friday morning and was used that night as a third-inning replacement for Hiroki Kuroda.
Johnson, 34, was 11-5 with a 3.82 ERA for Las Vegas. He spent last season with the Seibu Lions of Japan. To clear room on the 40-man roster for him, the Dodgers moved Yhency Brazoban to the 60-day disabled list.
Jason Schmidt's scheduled start with Las Vegas on Friday was canceled, as the $47-million right-hander felt discomfort in his throwing shoulder after his last outing. Schmidt will throw a couple of bullpen sessions before resuming his rehab assignment, Torre said. . . . Pinch-hitting specialist Mark Sweeney returned healthy from his four-game rehab assignment in Las Vegas and traveled with the Dodgers to Arizona. Though Sweeney is eligible to be activated today, Torre said he was unsure whether a roster move would be made. . . . Construction on the Dodgers' new spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz., is 45% complete, according to project manager Tom Harrison of M.A. Mortenson Co. The 15-field complex, which will be shared with the Chicago White Sox, should be ready for the start of spring training next year. . . . Torre turned 68 Friday.