The Milwaukee Brewers are considering shutting down relievers John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez for the season after their embarrassing performance Friday night against the Houston Astros. Axford and Rodriguez combined for three hits and three runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched, spoiling Mark Rogers’ brilliant performance.
Milwaukee did not use either pitcher in their loss on Saturday night nor their win Sunday afternoon. Many Brewers fans have questioned for weeks on sports talk radio in Milwaukee why the team is even using Axford or Rodriguez considering the season is over. Not to mention, Rodriguez will be a free agent and Axford does not have a financial contract signed for next season, as he is arbitration eligible until 2016. K-Rod’s career could very well be over while Axford will most likely be in a Brewers uniform next season because Milwaukee will be able to re-sign him for almost nothing.
At this point in the season, it makes zero sense to put either of these two players on the mound. Besides the fact manager Ron Roenicke gets sick just having them on the mound, the Brewers must use this unfortunate opportunity to see what other pitchers can get the job done. Milwaukee is finding out they have some decent starters from the minor leagues including the sensational Michael Fiers, as well as, the up and coming Rogers who is attempting to finally make it in the majors. They also found out Jim Henderson has potential to be a decent reliever/closer.
Axford and Rodriguez got their chance and blew it. The Brewers will clearly gain nothing by putting them out on the mound so why bother. The fans do not want to see the same thing over and over again, especially when it is the reason why the team is not contending for a second consecutive division title. The Brewers already know what they got in both players so now it is time to look at the future.
As I said before, that future could very well include Axford, as Milwaukee will not give up on a player who has already proven he can be a closer at the big league level. This is why Roenicke keeps giving Axford opportunities, to see if he can find his rhythm and regain his confidence. However, at this point, it is clearly no use and Axford will be better off taking the rest of the season off.