Whilst I was distracted by Liverpool cruising past Chelsea and into the semi-final of the League Cup, the Royals signed free agent reliever Jonathan Broxton. It’s a positive move, whilst the bullpen was decent overall last year it wasn’t spectacular and it was also very young. Most of them were rookies, and Broxton will provide a good senior presence. Whether Broxton will be effective remains to be seen, of course. He represented the National League in the 2009 and 2010 All Star Games, but he missed most of last year with an elbow injury and was ineffective before that.
The Royals were very careful in the press release to specify that Soria would remain in the closer’s role. There have been suggestions before that Soria ought to move to the rotation, but they are ill-advised and rightfully ignored. Soria has been an exceptionally effective closer, but the fast that he has a range of pitches does not mean that he would do well in the rotation. A lot of the success of his pitches stems from the fact that he only goes an inning or two at most. Batsmen do not have time to adjust to him and he does not have to hold anything back for the later innings. Whilst it is true that the Royals need more starting pitching, Soria is still not the answer and I am very glad that the administrators recognise that. Hopefully we will hear no more on the matter. (I’m not optimistic.)
Broxton has postseason experience as a Dodger, but perhaps not the best. He has three saves, but the Dodgers were eliminated by the Phillies twice and Broxton had failures on both series. Our history of signing free agents means that I am bracing myself for Broxton to have a dreadful season, but I think that the move itself is a good one.