John Axford struggling; David Robertson returns

June 15, 2012

St. Louis Cardinals – Victor Marte pitched parts of the 7th and 8th innings on Thursday, earning his 9th hold of the season.  While Mark Rzepczynski generally pitches later in games than Marte, he’s struggled as of late and would likely remain in a specialist role even if Jason Motte and Mitchell Boggs both suffer injuries.  Hierarchy change: Victor Marte to 2nd in line, replacing Mark Rzepczynski. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSTL |Motte |Boggs |Marte |Motte |6/15/12

Milwaukee Brewers – John Axford blew his second save in two days on Thursday, and has seen his ERA jump to 5.55 after giving up 7 runs in his last three outings.  He would be in more danger if the Brewers had any lights-out middle relievers, but Francisco Rodriguez- the only real threat to Axford’s job- is also having a mediocre season.  Still, if Axford continues to pitch poorly, the Brewers might have to look elsewhere.  John Axford to Hot Seat

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIL |Axford |Rodriguez |Veras |Axford |6/15/12

New York Yankees – The Yankees activated David Robertson from the DL on Thursday.  Robertson is expected to return to a set-up role, but could challenge for the closer job if Rafael Soriano struggles.  Hierarchy change: David Robertson to Set-up, Boone Logan to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedNYY |Soriano |Robertson |Logan |Robertson |6/15/12

1. Shawn Camp, Chicago Cubs – James Russell has registered 2 saves for the Cubs since the demotion of Rafael Dolis; Camp has gotten the other.  Matchups will likely determine who is used in the 9th today.
2. Scott Downs, Los Angeles Angels – Ernesto Frieri has gotten 5 of the last 8 save opps, but Downs could still snag a save on any night if match-ups are right.
3. Jose Veras, Milwaukee Brewers – John Axford has blown saves on back to back days, throwing 47 pitches in the process, and might be given a day off.  Francisco Rodriguez has pitched in three in a row, and five of the last six, making Jose Veras the most likely candidate for a save opp.