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Indians take John Axford out of his role as closer

May 10, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

John Axford AP

The struggling John Axford is officially off of closer’s duty for the Indians, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Scott Atchison, and Marc Rzepczynski will share the role as closer, Hoynes adds.

Axford, signed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal in December, has posted a 4.91 ERA. The struggles have been prominent recently, as the right-hander has allowed runs in three out of his last four appearances. While Axford has struck out 15 batters in 14 2/3 innings, he has also walked 13 and allowed three home runs.’s Jordan Bastian reports that manager Terry Francona hopes to get Axford back into the ninth inning once he straightens out.

Axford, 31, struggled in 2012 and ’13 with the Brewers, prompting a late-August trade to the Cardinals last season, where he appeared to find himself, posting a 1.74 ERA in 10 1/3 innings through the end of the season. Unfortunately, it appears to have been a fluke.

  1. Kevin Gillman - May 10, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    The walks have killed him this season. 13 in 14 2/3 innings is just ridiculous, and I am glad Francona is making the move now, rather than in June. Last night was the prime example. He struck out the first two hitters, then all of a sudden lost control, walked 2 men, gave up 1 run, and loaded the bases. I do think Cody Allen is ready, he’s the best reliever on the team. But I can also understand why he isn’t the full-time closer too.

  2. tuberippin - May 10, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    This is the fastest I’ve seen Cleveland yank a guy from the closer’s chair in years.

  3. chunkala - May 10, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Not just a fluke but also the usual problems associated with a transition from NL to superior AL.
    He was bound to get bombed, even in the weak AL Central.

    • jwbiii - May 11, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      Two points here.

      The AL was up 1 in interleague games this season as of this morning. Today, the Dbacks beat the White Sox, the Brewers beat the Yankees, and the A’s are up big on the Nats. Should be even tomorrow. That meme needs to go.

      Axford’s problem this year is his control. The leagues use the same size plate and the same umpires, so your argument would make no sense anyway.

      • Kevin Gillman - May 11, 2014 at 6:41 PM

        Exactly, his ERA isn’t too bad, considering how high his WHIP is because he hasn’t given up too many hits, but his walks….13 in 14 1/3 innings is just too much.

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