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Closing Thoughts: Broxton still hurting; Soriano still saving

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Jonathan Broxton(notes) is a large dude who needs all 10 toes for support. Right now, only nine of his are functioning well. He won't pitch in the All-Star game due to "an irritated nerve" in his right big toe. This from the Los Angeles Times:

"I don't want to make excuses, but if you can't push off, you can't use the same mechanics," he said.

According to Dodgers manager Joe Torre (via, it's not a short-term injury:

"It's something that he's going to have to deal with, and we're going to have to deal with, [for what] looks like for the rest of the year," Torre said. "He'll get periodic treatment, and from what I'm told from the medical staff, the only thing that's going to help this is rest."

The appropriate handcuff is right-hander Ramon Troncoso(notes) (10 percent owned). He picked up the rogue save at Milwaukee on Sunday while Broxton rested. Troncoso has five saves on the year with eight holds, a 1.75 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and a GB/FB ratio of 2.18. He's this week's add for those pursuing saves. Next week, it's right back to the Nats for Clippard or Burnett or Mock or whoever.

Let's bullet...

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Check out Rafael Soriano's(notes) recent game log over on the right. (If you can read it. Sizing issue. Apologies. Please just note all the little "SV"s). That doesn't really look like the workload you'd expect from a part-time closer, does it? Soriano saved four games last week, striking out eight batters and issuing no walks. Mike Gonzalez(notes) settled for two holds and a loss while getting one K in 2.2 innings.

San Francisco's Sergio Romo(notes) earned a save last Tuesday, striking out both of the hitters he faced in relief of Barry Zito(notes). Brian Wilson(notes) had pitched in the previous two games. Romo now has a 2.77 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 15 appearances, and he's a bit higher on the Giants' closing hierarchy than we'd assumed.

Here's a warning we'll issue each week: Mike MacDougal(notes) has twice as many walks as Ks for Washington so far this year (14, 7), and that 1.76 WHIP won't support a sub-3.00 ERA for much longer.

Following the Tony Pena(notes) trade, Jon Rauch(notes) has inherited eighth inning responsibilities for Arizona. That team isn't finished dealing, either. Chad Qualls(notes) should not be considered a lock to finish the year with the D-Backs.

The early reports on Matt Lindstrom haven't been bad. Nonetheless the Fish just keep adding veteran relievers who you thought were out of baseball (Brendan Donnelly(notes), Luis Ayala(notes)). They've been linked to Matt Capps(notes), too (via sourceless rumors). John Grabow(notes) figures to be next in line for saves in Pittsburgh, though he's also a trade chip.

Earlier today, MLB Trade Rumors did some speculating on relievers who might be on the block, for those interested. Check it out, then return for the wintergreen freshness of the spreadsheet below...

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