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Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton to miss All-Star game

A toe injury that has affected Broxton's pitching in the last week will keep him out of the midsummer classic, Manager Joe Torre says.

July 12, 2009|Dylan Hernandez

MILWAUKEE — Jonathan Broxton won't pitch in the All-Star game because of an irritated nerve on the big toe of his right foot.

Broxton received a cortisone injection Saturday.

Manager Joe Torre said he called National League Manager Charlie Manuel to let him know he would have to replace the 25-year-old closer. Broxton will still go to St. Louis to take part in All-Star festivities.

"It's disappointing, but you've got to look out for here," Broxton said.

Broxton had problems with the same toe last month and said the pain resurfaced last Sunday in San Diego, the day he blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning. He had another rough outing Friday, as he gave up two runs, three hits and a walk in a 28-pitch 10th inning in the Dodgers' 12-8 victory.

"I don't want to make excuses, but if you can't push off, you can't use the same mechanics," he said. "You have to do something different so that's going to mess up something -- the velocity or location or not [being] mentally focused out there because you're worried about that."

Broxton kept quiet about his injury, but Torre said third base coach Larry Bowa nudged him and pointed out how the hard-throwing closer was limping off the field Friday night.

"We interrogated him and finally got it out of him," Torre said.


DeWitt down, Elbert up

With Broxton out, the Dodgers summoned former first-round draft pick Scott Elbert from triple-A Albuquerque and sent down infielder Blake DeWitt.

Elbert, who was called up late last season to add an arm to the Dodgers' bullpen, was moved into a starting role this spring. The left-hander was 3-4 with a 4.27 earned-run average in 15 games, including 14 starts, with double-A Chattanooga and Albuquerque.

He was immediately put to work Saturday and tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings.

Elbert, 23, had a brief call-up with the Dodgers in April, posting a 7.11 ERA in three relief appearances.

Elbert described the call-up as a pleasant surprise. He said he believed his move into the rotation was permanent and didn't think he would make it back to the majors this season.

"I'm just happy to be here," he said. "I hadn't started for two years. I wanted to take this year to get back into the swing of things. My goal was to get back into the big leagues as a starter."


Doctor denies allegations

The South Florida doctor under federal investigation for allegedly providing Manny Ramirez with an improper prescription denied a connection with the All-Star outfielder.

Pedro Publio Bosch released a statement to ESPN, which first identified him as the source of Ramirez's prescription for a banned female fertility drug that led to his 50-game suspension.

"First, Mr. Manny Ramirez is not, nor has he ever been my patient," the statement read. "I have never prescribed drugs of any kind whatsoever to Mr. Ramirez."

"Second, in my thirty-three years of practicing medicine in Coral Gables, Florida, I have never prescribed HCG, not to Mr. Manny Ramirez nor anyone else."

The statement made no mention of Bosch's son, Anthony Bosch, who is believed to have been a conduit between the doctor and Ramirez.

Ramirez has refused to say whether he knows Pedro or Anthony Bosch.

Pedro Bosch also said in the statement that he was not aware of being under federal investigation.

A federal law enforcement official familiar with the matter told The Times that the Drug Enforcement Administration has opened a preliminary investigation into the elder Bosch, but said it was "a little premature" to call it a full-scale formal investigation.


Short hops

Rafael Furcal, who has been sitting out one game a week as a precaution to protect his surgically repaired back, is expected to be in the lineup today for the series finale in Milwaukee. Asked whether he could start treating Furcal like a normal player again, Torre knocked on the wooden desk in his office and said, "He's feeling pretty good." . . . Russell Martin is expected to sit. . . . Hiroki Kuroda will be available to pitch in relief.


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