Jonathan Broxton's two-month ordeal on the disabled list is over.
"I hated being on the DL," Broxton said. "I had to do my time down there. It was a struggle the last seven or eight weeks. I'm down for the home stretch and looking forward to helping the team win. The bullpen's done a great job picking up my slack. They've picked up some huge innings with me and Marshall out. Being with the guys and on the road trips kind of kept me going. I'm excited to get back out there."
Broxton, the big horse in the Reds' stable of relievers, was chomping at the bit to return and Dusty Baker had to improvise to cover his innings.
"We are excited to have Broxton back," Baker said. "We're not sure if we're going to throw him right back in the eighth inning or not. Hoover is throwing so good. We were patient with Hoover. At the beginning of the year everybody was ready to hang Hoover and Parra. So we're probably get Broxton in there sometime and as he throws more and more, we'll get him back in there (eighth inning)."
Hoover has pitched 20-2/3 scoreless innings over 18 appearances since June 13.
"I see his confidence building," Baker said. "We knew Hoover has the stuff. Sometimes when you're not doing it, that one pitch can make the outing look bad. It's not necessarily the home run. It might be a double from missing with the fastball away or the breaking ball 2 and 2. A lot of times people go on last year. Last year's important but every year is different. Like last year, Frazier was killing it. Sometimes these guys make adjustments to you. With Hoover it was the sequence of pitches. If you're going to be a good hitter, you have to know that Hoover is going to throw you a slider every 2 and 2. If you're going to be a good hitter or pitcher, you have to learn the other guy's tendencies and learn if you have tendencies yourself."
Baker told how Greg Maddux used to watch tape.
"I see guys in watching film and I wonder if they're watching the right thing or not," Baker said. "Greg Maddux used to look at a guy's feet. Is he standing up straight? Is he looking for this or that? If his feet are narrow it's a fastball."