Jonathan "Big Boy" Broxton made an encouraging first rehab start, but don't expect him to be handed his closer's role when he returns.

Seems he's going to have to earn it a tad, or at least prove he deserves to be back at the end of the bullpen. Which seems only right, considering he hasn't been right for a year.

Don Mattingly said if Broxton demonstrates he's back in form, he will be the closer. That means he'll have to show a lot since he last pitched May 3 and went on the disabled list with an elbow bone bruise and a 5.68 ERA.

"He would be a lot like (Hong-Chih) Kuo," Mattingly said. "It's hard to just bring a guy back and throw him right in that ninth-inning spot. I think we'll try to get him into some games, get him comfortable out on the mound and see where he's at and then go from there."

Realize, of course, that the Dodgers currently have no real closer. Kuo has pitched only one game since returning from the DL with his second bout of anxiety disorder. Rookie Javy Guerra, fresh from double-A Chattanooga, is the nearest thing the Dodgers have to a closer.

Mattingly admitted that aside from brief moments, at no time this season has Broxton thrown the way he is capable.

When Broxton got off to his poor start, General Manager Ned Colletti created a mini-hubbub when he said it may be time for the Dodgers to go to closer by committee.