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07/22/11 10:03 PM ET

Guerra, Jansen show exciting promise in 'pen

LOS ANGELES -- Young relievers Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen have done everything asked of them since they were called up to the Dodgers this season.

It's a prospect that has manager Don Mattingly excited about the future of his bullpen.

Guerra has been the Dodgers' de facto closer. Although Mattingly hasn't officially given him the title, he has called him his "ninth-inning guy" on several occasions. And Guerra has come through for Mattingly with six saves and a 2.18 ERA.

Jansen's season has been a bit more up-and-down -- he is 1-1 with a 4.13 ERA. But since returning from a shoulder injury in mid-June, Jansen has not allowed a run in 10 appearances (11 2/3 innings).

"Kenley is more of an explosive guy," Mattingly said when comparing the two pitchers. "It doesn't look like he's throwing that hard, but guys will swing and miss a lot. So you know his ball's got some jump to it."

As for Guerra: "Javy is more of a quick arm, good stuff, four-pitch mix," Mattingly said. "He's a tough pickup when you stand in there. That ball gets on you."

Closer Jonathan Broxton has been injured for most of the season and will be a free agent after the season. Both Guerra and Jansen could be long-term options in the closer role for the Dodgers, but Mattingly wouldn't speculate past this season.

Still feeling pain, Broxton unable to throw

LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly doesn't have to ask closer Jonathan Broxton if he's still having arm problems to know the answer.

"The way I understand it is he's not gonna throw until [the pain] is gone, totally gone," the Dodgers manager said. "He's not throwing yet, so I'm thinking he still has some issues."

The Dodgers have received very little good news with Broxton since he was placed on the disabled list on May 4 with a bone spur in his right elbow. On a couple occasions, Broxton appeared ready to begin a rehab assignment but was unable to do so because of continued pain in the elbow.

Out two and a half months, Broxton's return has taken much longer than the Dodgers had originally hoped. Before Friday's game against the Nationals, Mattingly was asked how long Broxton would have to miss before the Dodgers would contemplate shelving him for the season.

"I haven't started doing that math," Mattingly said. "... I knew it was going to be awhile, but I'm kind of waiting on [finding out how long]."

Mattingly did get good news from injured third baseman Casey Blake earlier in the week, albeit simply from an assuring response when he asked how he was feeling.

Blake, who was struggling with a sprained neck before being placed on the disabled list July 3, responded with an upbeat "pretty good."

"That's the first time I've gotten any good news from you in awhile," Mattingly said he told Blake afterward.

Since then, Mattingly said Blake has been working out a little bit, the start of his recovery process.

AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.