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DODGERS FYI

Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton acknowledges sore elbow

The relief pitcher's immediate future is unknown, pending the outcome of an MRI exam. The bad news continues as Andre Ethier, who also has a sore elbow, takes a day off.

May 04, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton acknowledged he has a sore left elbow following Tuesday's loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton acknowledged he has a sore left elbow following… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly was watching videotape of his closer, Jonathan Broxton, on Wednesday morning, seeking clues to Broxton's inability to throw strikes the night before, when team trainer Stan Conte walked into the room.

"You don't need to look at tape anymore," Mattingly said Conte told him. The reason: After repeatedly insisting he felt fine in recent days, Broxton had acknowledged a sore elbow on his right pitching arm.

A couple of hours later, there was more bad news for the Dodgers. Andre Ethier, riding a 29-game hitting streak, said he had a sore left elbow, so Mattingly scratched him from the lineup shortly before the Chicago Cubs' 5-1 win at Dodger Stadium.

Broxton's immediate future is unknown, pending the outcome of an MRI exam. But something definitely appeared wrong with the burly relief pitcher when he walked two batters on eight consecutive balls in the ninth inning Tuesday night, opening the door for a Cubs win.

"We'll find out what's going on exactly and then have a plan of attack," Mattingly said. Asked how long the elbow had bothered Broxton, who has seven saves but an earned-run average of 5.68, Mattingly replied: "He didn't really say the length of time, so I'd be kind of guessing."

Broxton, 26, struggled to explain his problems.

"It doesn't hurt when I'm throwing; it's just afterward it stiffens up a little bit," he said. "I don't think it's something serious or I wouldn't be able to throw at all."

Regardless, Mattingly said he told Broxton that while "it's honorable" that Broxton hoped to pitch through the soreness in his arm, "in the end it doesn't do him any good and it's not fair to him and it's really not fair to everybody else."

Ethier's problem

Ethier said that his elbow has been periodically bothering him since he slid into home plate in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 16, and that it flared anew Wednesday to the point at which he and Mattingly agreed he would take the day off.

"Maybe [there was] too much pine tar [on my hands] and my fingers stuck to home plate a little bit" and caused the injury to his elbow, Ethier quipped.

The right-fielder has hit safely in 16 consecutive games since that play, and Ethier said the injury has mostly affected his throwing rather than his hitting. On most days, the left-hander has felt well enough to play after loosening up, but not Wednesday.

"The last three days it's been gradually getting worse," Ethier said. "Last night, [the elbow] was pretty sore after the game. It's kind of a wait and see."

Ethier said his elbow would be checked by a doctor Thursday in New York, where the Dodgers open a seven-game trip Friday, and that he wasn't sure whether he would start Friday against the Mets.

"Hopefully, there's nothing serious that he finds and it's just a sore elbow or bone bruise or something," Ethier said.

Ethier has batted .387 (43 for 111) during the streak, which began April 2.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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