Listed at 6’4 and 305 pounds, Jonathan Broxton looks like he would be just as comfortable down the highway at the St. Louis Rams training camp as in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse.

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“I never liked football–I never played in high school and stuff,” said Broxton. “Baseball has always been my love since I was little. Reckon it’s gotten me up here and got me almost ten years now.”

While his fastball is still clocks in the mid-90s, Broxton now uses that nearly a decade of experience in the big leagues to help get hitters out.

“Back in ’08, ’09, ’10–my velocity’s a little bit different nowadays,” he chuckled. “I’ve got more experience now so I can go out there and maybe not strike out everybody that I can face like back then, but now I know how to pitch more. Pitch to contact, know when I have to get the strikeout, when I can go for the first pitch out, and stuff like that.”

Broxton had 72 saves over those three seasons and another 52 since then.

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“You see it throughout baseball to where as the guys get more wear and tear and more years on them, their velocity starts going down but they also become a better pitchers,” he continued. “Knowing how to pitch, when to attack guys, when you cannot throw strikes and let the batter chase balls.”

As for what his role may be in the Cardinals bullpen, Broxton isn’t concerned–he just wants to contribute.

“I don’t want to put any pressure on anybody else–I didn’t come here to try and take a job,” he explained. “I’m just trying to help the team win anyway I can–if it’s pitching the 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th. I don’t care. If we win, we win.”

Broxton is also looking forward to taking advantage of the experience of a new group of relievers to talk shop with.

“Every night you can always pick each other’s brain even though you may go out there and get a 1-2-3 inning, but it’s just seeing how each guy pitches a certain guy.”

photo credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

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