Cleveland Indians’ skipper Terry Francona made the announcement earlier today that right-handed relief pitcher John Axford will no longer be the teams closer according to Paul Hoynes on Twitter.
Axford out of close’s role.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) May 10, 2014
The man they call ‘The Ax-Man’ became a success with the Milwaukee Brewers as their closer in 2010. He finished the year with an 8-2 record, 2.48 ERA and picked up 24/27 save attempts. Axford struggled during the first month of the regular season in 2011 as he blew two saves in the first two week. He would later be named DHL Delivery Man of the Month in July after recording 11 saves with an ERA of 2.57.
Ax-Man was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals last season for Michael Blazek. Axford posted a 1.59 ERA during the post season while hurling only two and one-third scoreless innings during the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Shortly after the Cardinals opted to not tender his contract for the 2014 season -The Cleveland Indians scooped him up on a one year contract worth $4.5 million. It was ultimately decided that he would serve as the teams closer.
Well fast forward a couple months later and now he’s out of the job. It appears that Cleveland will be using a ninth inning committee including Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Scott Atchison and Marc Rzepczynski. That last name is a tongue twister.