Cleveland Indians Remove John Axford as Closer

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- The Cleveland Indians removed John Axford as their closer. Manager Terry Francona made the announcement prior to Saturday night’s 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

In his first season with the Indians, Axford is 1-3 with nine saves and a 4.91 ERA in 17 games. He has struck out 15 batters in 14 2-3 innings of work.

Francona indicated he wants to reinstall Axford as the closer once he has worked through his pitching issues. In the meantime, Cleveland will go with a closer-by committee approach, which includes Cody Allen, Scott Atchison, Marc Rzepcynski and Bryan Shaw.

The Indians signed Axford this past off-season to a one-year contract worth $4.5 million.

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