Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

John Axford credits Yadier Molina for turnaround last season

Ever since he struggled in the first half of 2013, once closer John Axford has been looking for answers. Able to run it up in there in the mid-90′s, he did not close after he was traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the St. Louis Cardinals but he did find more success.

Part of the reason for that turnaround? Super catcher Yadier Molina. As Axford told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

I think a lot of it had to do with — and this isn’t knocking the Brewers’ catchers by any means — Yadier Molina and the confidence you have in that guy…I had it from day one when I met him.

“He’s got the reputation and you understand and know it…When you’re with him, you know why he has that reputation, based on how hard he works and what he does behind the plate.

“The confidence I had on the mound throwing to him and the way he gives that confidence back is just great.”

That’s nice of Axford to say that about Milwaukee’s inferior catchers, because of course he now faces great uncertainty with the guys behind the plate having signed with the Cleveland Indians. Phenom Yan Gomes has taken control of the gig, with Carlos Santana looking to spend some time at third base. Both are talented, but Yadier Molina they are not.

Axford will have to hope that the improvements from pitching to Molina stick without him.

Tags: Cleveland Indians John Axford

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