July 29, 2005 - Southern League (SL) - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Suns right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton was promoted to the Major Leagues today and will join the Dodgers in Los Angeles as they host the St. Louis Cardinals at 10:40 p.m.
Broxton, who turned 21 last month, has exhibited blistering velocity - with several pitches meeting or exceeding 100 MPH - since his conversion to relief June 15. As a reliever, Broxton has pitched 15 games with the Suns, allowed seven earned runs in 19 innings (3.32 ERA) and has struck out 28. He has saved all four opportunities.
Overall, Broxton, who was asked to join the Southern League All-Star team on his merits as a starting pitcher, went 4-3 with a 3.36 ERA, which ranks sixth in the league. His 99 strikeouts still rank fourth, even though he has pitched 19 innings out of the bullpen over the last five weeks.
Broxton becomes the second Sun to be promoted directly to the Major Leagues this season. Left-handed starting pitcher Derek Thompson was promoted to the Dodgers on May 27. He made three starts and appeared four times, posting no record with a 3.50 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 18 innings. Thompson has since been reassigned to Class AAA Las Vegas.
Broxton took advantage of the Suns\' off day Wednesday and drove home to Waynesboro, Ga., near Augusta. He has planned to drive back to Jacksonville this morning and suit up for the Suns in tonight's game against Mobile.
"It's going to feel awesome," Broxton told the Augusta Chronicle. Broxton was informed by Suns manager John Shoemaker via a phone call around noon Thursday.
Broxton, whose 6-foot-4, 275-pound frame caters to hard-throwing and short relief, enjoyed success as a starter for 2½ seasons prior to the conversion to the bullpen. However, Broxton said he enjoyed the switch and possesses the mindset needed to pitch in pressure situations.
"We got the big man out there, and he absolutely ran with the idea of becoming a relief pitcher," Dodgers' director of player development Terry Collins told the Chronicle.
The Suns have not yet had a player reassigned to their roster to replace Broxton.