Description: John Axford is no longer the closer for the Cleveland Indians, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Insight: Cleveland will go with the dreaded closer by committee, with Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Marc Rzepczynski, and Scott Atchison in the mix for saves. Allen (1.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 22 Ks in 14 2/3 IP) is the best option.
4/23/2014 10:16:00 PM
Description: Indians closer John Axford tied Francisco Rodriguez for the MLB lead with his eighth save Wednesday against the Royals.
Insight: Axford lost the closer job last year with Milwaukee but was effective in 16 innings for the Cardinals (including playoffs) after being traded to earn a contract with Cleveland. His 1.34 WHIP and 6.51 BB/9 suggest you should sell high while he has a 2.79 ERA.
12/16/2013 9:25:00 PM
Description: Righthander John Axford has signed on to be the Indians' new ninth inning man. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: The former Brewers closer is set to make $4.5 million in 2014. He split last season between Milwaukee and St. Louis, earning a 4.04 ERA in 75 appearances. His 19 holds were a career-high.
8/30/2013 11:43:00 AM
Description: Cardinals newly-acquired RP John Axford probably won't have much fantasy value in St. Louis unless there is an injury to closer Edwards Mujica.
Insight: Axford was a breakout closer in 2011 with 46 and earned another 35 saves last season, though he had periods when he couldn't get anyone out. He's 6-7 this season with a 4.45 ERA and 1.55 WHIP and those numbers won't help any fantasy owner.
4/24/2013 9:20:00 PM
Description: Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke hinted that John Axford could be back as the team's closer sooner rather than later. SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Insight: He's done a nice job setting up for Jim Henderson (0.00 ERA in his last six outings). It's clear that Axford is the team's best long term option for the ninth inning. He'll be a player to watch in fantasy, especially when and if Henderson (five saves, 0.90 ERA) begins to struggle.
4/8/2013 2:38:00 PM
Description: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that Milwaukee righthander John Axford is likely out as closer for the Brewers.
Insight: Axford is as streaky as they come and right now he's simply ugly out there on the mound. The frightening thing is that Axford's ERA (20.25) actually improved by giving up two runs in one inning on Sunday. Jim Henderson could be the Brewers' closer today and down the road.
4/7/2013 10:03:00 PM
Description: Brewers righthander John Axford allowed the game-winning home run Sunday against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Eric Hinske left the yard against Axford in the 11th inning, prompting manager Ron Roenicke to call upon Mike Gonzalez to finish the frame. The frightening thing is that Axford's ERA (20.25) actually improved by giving up two runs in one inning (21.60 prior to Sunday).
4/4/2013 10:52:00 AM
Description: Milwaukee reliever John Axford might not be the closer for much longer. His ERA this season is 21.60.
Insight: Axford blew the save in Monday's season opener and allowed three runs in just 2/3 of an inning Wednesday in a non-save opportunity. Former Nationals and Orioles lefty Mike Gonzalez is next up on the closer's depth chart should Axford eventually lose the trust of manager Ron Roenicke.
9/21/2012 10:38:00 PM
Description: Brewers reliever John Axford is 12-for-12 in save chances since Aug. 28. He's allowed three earned runs in 12 1/3 innings during that span.
Insight: It's been a rough year for Axford but he's reached 30 saves for the second straight season and has fanned 11.6 batters per nine innings so it hasn't been a total loss for fantasy owners. Plus, he's been a bullpen ace this month so we're willing to overlook the 6.23 ERA he posted from June-August.
8/22/2012 11:14:00 AM
Description: Brewers reliever John Axford will return to his role as the closer said manager Ron Roenicke after Tuesday night's game.
Insight: In 15 games since being removed as the exclusive closer, Axford earned two wins and three saves though he also had a high 4.73 ERA. Tuesday night he saved his 19th game of the season.
7/29/2012 7:10:00 PM
Description: Brewers reliever John Axford got first crack at heading Milwaukee's closer committee Sunday but he didn't seize the opportunity. Axford was called upon to clean up after another Francisco Rodriguez debacle against Washington but he just made matters worse. Together, the two allowed three earned runs and two hits apiece.
Insight: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke replaced Rodriguez with Axford in the eighth but Axford allowed the inherited runners to score and ended up getting tagged with his seventh blown save of the season. Considering the way the top two options of Roenicke's committee pitched Sunday, we may see Kameron Loe get a shot. However, fantasy owners should just stay away from this situation.
7/26/2012 6:51:00 PM
Description: Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke has said that the Brewers will move to a closer by committee.
Insight: No fantasy owner ever wants to hear the words "closer by committee" but that's the reality right now in Milwaukee. If Roenicke decides to abandon this plan and eventually choose one closer, it's likely to be John Axford (3-6, 4.68 ERA), who has showed improvement since being demoted from his ninth inning role last week (five scoreless outings in a row).
7/25/2012 5:27:00 PM
Description: Since he lost the closer role in Milwaukee, John Axford has not allowed a run in 5 1/3 innings while Francisco Rodriguez has blown two saves.
Insight: This situation has blown up in Brewers manager Ron Roenicke's face as K-Rod has put 15 men on base (8 H, 7 BB) in 3 1/3 innings since he took over the closer role. Expect Axford to re-assume his job.
7/16/2012 11:55:00 PM
Description: Brewers closer John Axford blew his sixth save of the season Monday night as his ERA increased to 5.35.
Insight: Axford owners should be on alert, as the closer may soon be replaced by Francisco Rodriguez.
6/19/2012 5:45:00 PM
Description: Brewers closer John Axford is questionable for Tuesday night's game against Toronto. Axford's wife gave birth on Tuesday.
Insight: Axford (1-3, 5.13 ERA) had given up two runs or more in three straight appearances at one point last week, but he has been perfect in his last two outings. If Axford can't pitch on Tuesday, Francisco Rodriguez or Jose Veras will likely be called upon in the ninth if there is a save situation.
6/14/2012 11:18:00 PM
Description: Brewers closer John Axford blew a save for the second straight game Thursday at Kansas City. Axford allowed two runs to fall to 1-3 on the season.
Insight: Axford has given up eight earned runs in his last five innings and his ERA is up to 5.55. He's been nowhere near the pitcher he was last season, when he saved 46 games with a 1.95 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. He has just 10 saves in 13 chances this year and his WHIP is 1.68. He's likely not in danger of losing his job just yet but he better get his act together.
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