John Axford RP PIT 2 Months

Axford made his Pirates' debut Friday, striking out two in a perfect inning of work.

He put together a solid run at the end of last season after joining the Cardinals, and the Bucs are hoping lightning can strike twice for Axford. Even if he pitches well in a setup role though, don't look for him to challenge Mark Melancon for the closer spot.

John Axford RP PIT 2 Months

The Indians have agreed to trade Axford to the Pirates, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports.

A four-run blowup against the Yankees last Friday proved a fitting end to the 31-year-old's tenure in Cleveland. Axford was removed from the closer role a little over a month into the season and ended up posting a 3.92 ERA and 1.47 WHIP across 49 appearances. He did show some improvement in July (2.00), and Pirates pitching coach Ray Searge has been known to work magic with struggling hurlers, but Axford isn't a threat to Mark Melancon.

John Axford RP PIT 4 Months

Indians manager Terry Francona said Saturday that the team's eventual goal is to have John Axford return to the closer's role.

Francona did say that he likes how Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw are performing in the ninth inning and that a change isn't imminent. While Axford has pitched better in recent weeks, he still issues far too many walks to be trusted with the game on the line.

John Axford RP PIT 5 Months

John Axford has been removed from the Indians' closer role.

Indians manager Terry Francona made that announcement on Saturday evening. Axford has an ugly 4.91 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 14 2/3 innings this season, and will pitch in mid-relief until he can get back on track. Francona said the Tribe will use a ninth-inning committee made up of Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Marc Rzepczynski, and Scott Atchison. Allen is probably the best guy to pick up in fantasy.

John Axford RP PIT 5 Months

John Axford picked up the win with a scoreless ninth inning as the Indians walked off against the Twins on Wednesday.

Axford put runners on first and second with two outs after allowing a double and a walk in the top of the ninth inning, but was able to get Sam Fuld to foul out to end the threat. Mike Aviles knocked in the winning run in the bottom half of the inning, giving Axford his first win of the season.

John Axford RP PIT 5 Months

John Axford took his third loss after giving up a solo homer in a scoreless game in the 10th inning Monday against the Twins.

Axford was pitching for the third straight day after also taking a blown save and a loss on Sunday. He was 9-for-10 in save chances with a 2.31 ERA as of two days ago, so he's not at an immediate risk of losing his job. The Indians do know that Cody Allen is their best reliever, but they'd just as soon leave Axford in the closer's role as long as he's adequate. Since Axford will need Tuesday off, perhaps Allen will get a save chance then.

John Axford RP PIT 5 Months

John Axford blew his second save of the season when he served up a three-run homer to Dayan Viciedo in the ninth inning of Sunday's loss to the White Sox.

Axford entered with a two-run lead and promptly walked the first batter on four pitches. He then issued a one-out walk ahead of Viciedo's blast. Axford is leading the American League with nine saves, but he's been far from the best closer on the Junior Circuit, as he holds a 4.38 ERA and has walked nine over 12 1/3 innings. He should have some leash left, but Cody Allen remains a big threat to eventually take Axford's job.

John Axford RP PIT 5 Months

John Axford collected his ninth save of the year as the Indians bested the White Sox on Saturday.

Axford retired all three batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning -- one via strikeout. The veteran righty is quietly leading the American League in saves and boasts an impressive 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 frames.

John Axford RP PIT 5 Months

John Axford skated on thin ice again but managed to nail down his sixth save with a scoreless frame in Sunday's win over the Blue Jays.

Axford gave up a couple singles and a walk to load the bases with Edwin Encarnacion with two outs. He got a gift called strike on a 3-0 count and eventually got E5 to ground out into the shift. While Ax has converted six saves in seven chances, he's walked seven in 7 2/3 innings and has a pedestrian 3.52 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Cody Allen -- who still hasn't given up a run -- continues to look like the best reliever Cleveland has.

John Axford RP PIT 6 Months

John Axford bounced back from a blown save to pitch a scoreless ninth Wednesday against the Tigers.

Axford protected a one-run lead for his fifth save in six chances. He needs to cut down on the walks if he's going to remain successful; he's issued six in 6 2/3 innings this season.