For now, Axford out as closer
The Brewers have a new closer. You may have heard of him.
Francisco Rodriguez, Major League Baseball’s single-season saves king, took over the job beginning Tuesday from John Axford, who last year put together the best season for a closer in Brewers history but has been unable to replicate that success. The breaking point came Monday, when Axford struggled to command all of his pitches against the Cardinals and suffered his sixth blown save in a 3-2 Brewers loss.
“Frankie’s going to close right now,” said manager Ron Roenicke, who discussed the change with both relievers on Tuesday afternoon. “‘Ax,’ we’re going to put him where we feel he has a chance to get his rhythm back, his confidence back. I don’t want to say an inning, because there could be games where it’s the eighth inning when the game’s not on the line. It could be the sixth, could be the seventh, the eighth. Wherever it is where we think [Axford can get] a couple of outings to relax a little bit more and try to get him back, confidence-wise, stuff-wise. If it’s a mechanical issue, Rick [Kranitz, the pitching coach] and he will work on it.”
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