Results tagged ‘ John Axford ’

Axford sent down

The Brewers optioned right-hander John Axford to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday afternoon but manager Ken Macha expects the right-hander to return at some point before 2010 is over. 
“We need to get him pitching on a regular basis in case we do have a problem with one of our right-handed relievers,” Macha said. “This guy has had an extremely impressive spring.”
Axford surrendered a run on two hits in one inning of Tuesday’s 10-2 Brewers win over the Indians. It was the first run he had allowed since his Cactus League debut on March 4, when the Giants touched Axford for four runs on five hits. In five outings between that game and Tuesday’s, Axford surrendered only four hits and no earned runs. 
His mid-90s fastball makes Axford a potential closer candidate, but general manager Doug Melvin said Axford would report to Nashville without any specific instructions. 
“I’m not a big believer in one-inning closers in the Minor Leagues,” Melvin said. “His assignment is just go pitch. He needs to get his work in.”
Axford’s work in camp impressed Macha. 
“From where this guy has come — he was almost a release candidate at one point in time — to [now], he’s going to have a chance to get some people out in the big leagues,” Macha said. “He’s got an explosive fastball and a snapdragon curve. That’s a good combination. That’s Troy Percival kind of stuff.”
Percival saved 358 games in 14 Major League seasons. Axford probably won’t have an opportunity to rack up those kind of numbers; he’s a late-bloomer who will turn 27 on April 1 and only has three seasons of professional experience. The Brewers signed Axford in March 2008 after a tryout at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Axford was the third of three moves on Tuesday. Right-hander Tim Dillard was reassigned to Minor League camp and fellow nonroster invitee Scott Schoeneweis left camp after being informed he would not make the Opening Day roster. The Brewers intend to formally release Schoeneweis on Thursday, Melvin said. 
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Macha: Axford has been 'talked about'

John Axford put together his second straight strong outing on Wednesday against the Padres. Don’t count him out for a spot in the Brewers’ bullpen. 

“We talked about a whole bunch of things this morning,” manager Ken Macha said after his team’s 5-4 loss in Peoria. “We had Rick [Peterson, Milwaukee’s pitching coach] and [bullpen coach] Stan Kyles and Doug [Melvin, the GM], Gord [Ash, assistant GM] and myself, and there’s … so many options out there which could happen. 
“He’s a name [Axford] who has been talked about. He’s been impressive. If he can continue to throw strikes, he can be effective [with] a plus fastball and a real good, hard curveball. There’s not too many arms like that.”
Axford retired all three Padres hitters he faced, on a pair of pop-ups to the catcher and another to second base. Two days earlier, he struck out the side in a “B” game against the Reds. 
The Brewers’ bullpen field is crowded. Entering camp, six spots were essentially spoken for by Trevor Hoffman, Todd Coffey, LaTroy Hawkins, Mitch Stetter, Claudio Vargas and Carlos Villanueva. That would leave only one opening.
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Hart, Gamel slated as final Crew call-ups

The Brewers are expected to recall third baseman Mat Gamel from Triple-A Nashville after Monday’s game but will wait until Tuesday to activate right-fielder Corey Hart from the disabled list. It appears that righty John Axford, promoted from Nashville on Monday morning, will be the final pitcher called-up. 

The team wants to be sure that Hart is OK after a four-game rehabilitation assignment with Nashville. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2, when Hart underwent an appendectomy in San Diego.

Brewers promote Axford

The Brewers purchased right-hander John Axford’s contract Monday morning from Triple-A Nashville and he will be in the bullpen wearing uniform No. 59 for the opener of a three-game series against the Cardinals. Axford, 26, was 9-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 45 relief appearances between three Brewers affiliated this season, including 5-0 with a 3.55 ERA in 22 games at Nashville.

Axford replaces Jesus Colome, whom the Brewers released Sunday to clear a 40-man roster spot. The team would have added Axford to the 40-man this winter, anyway, to avoid exposing him to the Rule 5 Draft.

Braddock overcoming physical, mental hurdles

Brewers pitching prospect Zach Braddock has been healthy this season, both in body and mind, and some promising results have followed.

The Brewers promoted Braddock to Double-A Huntsville on Wednesday after the left-hander posted a 1.14 ERA and 40 strikeouts versus just four walks in 14 relief appearances at Class A Brevard County. Opponents hit .143 against the hard-throwing Braddock.

Braddock has been limited by physical injuries since the Brewers drafted him in the 18th round of the 2005 Draft and by a bipolar disorder that requires medication. But in terms of pure “stuff,” he’s a bona fide Major League prospect.

“He can dominate,” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “There have been a number of reports this year [that say] he could pitch in the big leagues. He has that kind of dominating stuff. Obviously, being left-handed helps. It’s a matter of being consistent, like it is with a lot of young guys.”

Assuming he stays physically and mentally healthy, Braddock could move fast through the system. He turns 22 on Aug. 23.

“Which is why we moved him to Double-A, to get him to that next level,” Ash said.

Club officials help “monitor” Braddock, Ash said. That involves making sure he takes the proper medication at the proper time.  

“He’s in a very good spot,” Ash said. “He’s monitored, and he’s had no issues at all. … He’s in a good place.”

In other Minor League transactions Wednesday:

— Right-hander Rob Wooten joined Braddock in a move from Brevard County to Huntsville. Wooten doesn’t possess the raw tools of Braddock, but, “If you throw strikes, you’ve got a chance,” Ash said. “Chris Smith shows it now.”

— The Brewers promoted right-hander John Axford from Double-A Huntsville to Nashville to replace right-hander Mike Burns, who went to Milwaukee to join the starting rotation. Axford has been rising fast; he pitched in just four games for Huntsville after a promotion from Brevard County.

— Class A Wisconsin closer Jim Henderson was promoted to Brevard County after going 17-for-17 in save chances. Henderson is a veteran Minor Leaguer.

— Right-hander Omar Aguilar is not, which made it somewhat disappointing when he was demoted from Huntsville to Brevard County. Aguilar, who is on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster, had a 7.71 ERA in 23 relief appearances.

“Player development will do this,” Ash said. “There are surprises upward, and there are surprises downward. We had [Jeremy] Jeffress, [Alex] Periard and Aguilar, all guys we’re high on but all who will end up in A-ball right now. Then there’s guys who have taken a step forward. Axford has taken a step forward. Josh Butler has taken a step forward. Braddock. Chris Cody. Several guys have taken a step.”

— Right-hander R.J. Seidel, a Wisconsin native, will begin a throwing program at the Brewers’ baseball facility in Arizona later this week. He’s ahead of schedule after undergoing offseason surgery for a torn ACL. Seidel told the Brewers he hurt his knee slipping on some ice.

“He’ll salvage a month or so of the season,” Ash said.

— Right-hander Mike Jones, on the Huntsville DL with a medical issue that Ash said was of a personal nature, will throw a bullpen session to see how he feels before potentially returning to action next week. 

— Left-hander Chris Capuano, rehabbing from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, threw his first bullpen session this week and hasn’t had another setback, Ash said. Capuano still faces a long road; he’ll have to throw several bullpens, then a series of live batting practice sessions before he’s cleared to pitch in a game. That probably won’t happen until the end of August, just as the Minor League seasons are ending.

“It’s just a long, slow grind,” Ash said. “He gets full marks for grinding it out.”