Blue Jays’ John Axford beyond excited for opportunity
Toronto Blue Jays newest pitcher John Axford took to Twitter to express his excitement for the opportunity to pitch in his home and native land, the Canadian even shared a photo of his youth where he was sporting Blue Jays swag on Christmas morning in his hometown of Port Dover, Ontario.
The Blue Jays inked John Axford to a minor league deal earlier last week with an invitation to spring training. Although the former closers best days are undoubtedly behind him, the 34-year will attempt to find the fountain of youth pitching in his home country.
Last season Axford made 22 appearances for the Oakland Athletics surrendering 15 earned runs in 21 innings of work. The hurler still fanned a batter an inning however his 6.43 earned run average and 2.095 WHIP will need drastic improvement in 2018 if he plans on sticking with the big club.
Axford tweeted that he is somehow happier now than he was in this picture and is beyond excited for the opportunity.
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The self-proclaimed mustache and film aficionado has 144 career saves under his belt and owns a career 3.71 earned run average spanning over his 9-year career. The big-hander is only a year removed from a 3.97 earned run average campaign where he made 68 appearances with the Athletics.
Axford along with other spring training invites Al Alburquerque and Jake Petricka will be vying for the chance to join a crowded Blue Jays bullpen when the team heads north. Thus far you can bank on Roberto Osuna, Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes, Aaron Loup, Joe Biagini and Carlos Ramirez to all be penciled into the bullpen repertoire entering spring training. Obviously, if the Jays don’t sign another starter, Biagini will shift back into the rotation but at this point, it appears he is tabbed for the pen.
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Hopefully, Axford can nudge his way into the picture and be an effective member at the back of the Jays bullpen. You have to root for the Canadian and for the potential of an all Canadian battery of Axford and Russell Martin.