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Indians remove John Axford from closer's role

Bring on the committee!

Jason Miller

John Axford is being removed from the closer role, with the hope that by getting him some work in lower-stress innings, he can get back into a groove and return to the role later in the season. Axford has allowed at least one run in three of his last four appearances, with six walks and two home runs allowed in three innings. He's taken two losses in the process, the team's only losses in the last week.

No replacement has been named, instead Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Marc Rzepczynski, and Scott Atchison will all be used late in games, depending on the situation. All four of those guys have an ERA of 2.08 or better, compared to 4.91 for Axford.

Like many fans, I like the idea of a closer-by-committee, using your best relievers in the biggest situations, regardless of the inning and not holding any one guy back for a very particular situation. Baseball managers have proven pretty unwilling to stick with a committee for long though, and if Axford isn't ready to reclaim the role within the next three weeks or so, I expect we'll see one of the committee members promoted to full-time status. Allen and Shaw seem like the leading candidates, with my money on Allen.