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.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.