Doug, you can't be surprised that folks are climbing all over you here. You've posted 71 times in this thread, twice that of any other member, and just about all of it has been stuff like this:
If Broxton blows 3 playoff games, and goes back to being the averagish pitcher he was in KC, will those thumping their chest now stand up and say they were wrong?
20 IP is nothing that can be conclude on definitively. And neither is 3 IP in the playoffs.
Broxton's performance has been a pleasant surprise, and we're all thrilled with that. Many people said they thought he would be a positive addition. I haven't seen where anyone said they thought his peripherals would improve as much as they have. If Doug, or anyone would have known his peripherals would look like they currently do, EVERYONE would have thought this was a great trade. But there was no way to predict this turnaround, the same way there is no way to predict whether or not we can expect similar results going forward, considering we're talking about a 20 IP sample.
What's made it successful (outside of the luck factor that's part of every player acquisition) is the Reds seem to have done a good job of scouting Broxton and then in managing him. The question in any deadline deal is "Can the player deliver what you're hoping for on the field?" In the case of Broxton the answer is clearly yes. He is capable of delivering on the field.
In terms of what kind of pitcher is he? As you mentioned, relievers are prone to hot and cold swings. Sometimes they're season-long swings, sometimes back and forth within individual seasons. Broxton's ability is probably closer to his combined numbers than anything he did with just KC or with the Reds. And even that doesn't really capture it.
Ultimately what we should ask of any major league organization is that it do a quality job of spotting pitchers who can work out and then putting those pitchers in situations where they can succeed. That would seem to be a fair description of the Reds organization at this moment. And its run of successes argues for giving the organization the benefit of a doubt when it comes to relievers who could go either way.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
The guy's thrown well. Velocity excellent at times. Control excellent. He admirably plugged the gaping hole when Chapman went down, allowing the Reds to breeze down the stretch.
For me, you can close the books on this one, a win for the Reds. No matter what happens in the playoffs.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini
Reds wanted a veteran reliever with closing experience to enable them to rest Chapman and/or in case Chapmen got hurt. Personally, Broxton wouldn't be on the top of my list of guys I'd want for that role, but he'd be on the list somewhere.
Regardless of how Broxton does in the playoffs, the trade was a success from that perspective. The Reds wanted a guy to fill a role, and the guy they got filled that role.
"Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
I'm constantly impressed with Walt's (and his staffs) feel for a baseball team. Fact is, if every move he's made made most fans happy, we'd be stuck in mediocrity still. When it comes down to it, Walt's one of the best GM's in the league, and has been, bar none, for well over a decade. It's not wise to try to outsmart him with just one angle, because he's working on several angles any of us would be oblivious to. Plus, I contend, he's got a feel for the game and how to create a real living breathing team. That's all I can conclude from the confounding and excellent moves he's made to get the Reds to the best record in baseball with the best bullpen in the league with the best starting staff in 20 years with the best defense and the best hitter in baseball. The guy is walking the golden road and we get to be on the bandwagon. Lucky us.