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It looks like John Axford is out as the Brewers’ closer

Apr 8, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

John Axford Getty Getty Images

Four days ago the Brewers said they were sticking with John Axford despite a rough start to the season, but now it looks like manager Ron Roenicke is making a change in the ninth inning.

Axford took the loss in yesterday’s game against the Diamondbacks, but only after throwing a scoreless 10th inning and then being asked to pitch the 11th inning too. It didn’t go well and now Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Roenicke dropped some serious hints about a change even though nothing is official yet:

Asked if there was a closing situation today against the Cubs if he would use Axford, Roenicke said, “I need to have a discussion with ‘Ax’ on what we plan to do. So, I really can’t give you an answer until I talk to him.”

Normally, when a manager says somethng like that, it means he hasn’t talked to the player yet about making  a change and therefore isn’t ready to tell the media.

Axford has a 20.25 ERA, allowing six runs in 2.2 innings while serving up four homers. He briefly lost the closer job last season, but then recovered to be one of the best relievers in baseball down the stretch. Presumably the fill-in will be setup man Jim Henderson, who has a 3.21 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 34 career innings.

  1. albertmn - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    While he may indeed be out as closer, that quote sounds more like checking with the guy to see if he would be available or needs a day off. Guess we’ll see.

  2. zappxx - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    “Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said after Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 11 innings at Miller Park that John Axford will remain the team’s closer despite a rocky opening week.

    “If I would have got him out after the first inning, he would have had a positive thought in his mind going into (Monday) or the next day,” Roenicke said.


  3. onbucky96 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Ugh, we suck again. Even the Packers think we can’t keep guys healthy.

  4. Darkoestrada - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Roenicke really shouldn’t have tried to push him a 2nd inning yesterday but you can’t blame his struggles on that. He still has the most upside of any reliever on the brewers and they need the good axford. Hopefully they can get him on track with a few lower leverage situations and he can get back to himself like last year

  5. heyzeus143 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Future pirate

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