Jonathan Broxton barely holds on, notches sixth save

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By the skin of his teeth, Jonathan Broxton picked up his sixth save Friday after allowing one run in the ninth against the Padres.

Staying true to his word, manager Don Mattingly used Vicente Padilla in the eighth and saved Broxton for the ninth in a 3-1 game against the Padres.

It started out well enough, as Broxton got the first two batters he faced. However, he then allowed three straight singles, the first a flare into right and the next two grounders through the infield.

That brought up Nick Hundley, who hit a wicked liner into left field that certainly would been a go-ahead double if not for Mattingly’s decision to stick Tony Gwynn Jr. out there to begin the ninth. Gwynn made a terrific diving catch, ending the game.

Broxton was hitting 92-94 mph on the TV gun tonight, though Vin Scully was being fed 94-96 mph readings to the booth. He’s not spotting the fastball well at all, so he figures to remain very shaky for a while longer. As hard as Broxton had to work tonight, it’d be no surprise if the Dodgers bypassed him tomorrow and reserved Padilla for the ninth.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.