By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
The Toronto Blue Jays dealt right-hander John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday in exchange for cash considerations.
With the transaction, the Canuck will rejoin the team he began his big league career with in 2009. The Brewers noted in their press release that Axford will join the team tonight.
Axford had been dominant for the Blue Jays’ triple-A Buffalo Bisons, posting an 0.84 ERA and allowing just two hits, while striking out 14, in 10 2/3 innings, since he was signed by the Blue Jays in June. He was inked to a minor league deal after his fastball hit 98 mph on the radar gun for the Canadian national team at the America’s Olympic Qualifier in Florida.
The 38-year-old right-hander, who has served as an analyst on Sportsnet’s Blue Jays Central in recent months, has not pitched in the big leagues since September 21, 2018. He signed with the Blue Jays prior to spring training in 2019, but made just one minor league appearance for the club that year due to an elbow injury.
In 2018, the 6-foot-5 righty went 4-1 with a 4.41 ERA in 45 appearances for the Blue Jays before being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline.
The Brewers shared that Axford will get his old uniform number 59 back when he returns. Bench coach Pat Murphy has agreed to switch to number 00.
Axford toed the rubber for the Brewers for his first five MLB seasons from 2009 to 2013. During that tenure, he went 21-19 with a 3.35 ERA, while notching 106 saves in 268 appearances. He holds the Brewers’ record for most saves in a single season (46 in 2011) and ranks second to Dan Plesac (133) on the team’s all-time saves list.
The Canuck reliever has registered a 3.87 ERA and notched 144 saves in 543 big league appearances in his 10-year major league career that has also included stops with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Oakland A’s and Dodgers.
Went and saw a minor league game (Prospect League) Beckley, West Virginia Miners vs the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Mill Rats last week. The players were almost exclusively college players and the Miners team is affiliated with Tampa Bay. Decent baseball, nice fans, and judging by the info posted on the Ballpark walls about 20% will go on to sign contracts and play in the higher minors with a handful making the majors. Does Canada have a similar league and if not why not? People might badmouth the Prospect League as weak baseball but several Major Leaguers have said it was important in their development. Along those lines I was in Brampton over Easter weekend 1997 and watched three days of junior hockey playoffs including the QMJHL playoffs with an already drafted Daniel Briere dominating. All three days the announcers kept up a non stop, wise cracking mockery of Briere a.) Too French b.} Too small c.) the QMJHL is the worst Majors program in Canada so a nobody like him could of course look good. I remember one announcer giving him a 1 in 50 chance of ever playing an NHL game and a 1 in 500 chance of playing a full season. I enjoyed watching Briere as a junior and followed him his whole career. Loud mouthed sports experts might badmouth the quality of leagues or play but I bet not one of those announcers ever came out and said they were completely wrong about Briere. I saw the talent. I think a Canadian Prospect league could produce some major leaguers or maybe there is such a league that already exists.
On Mon, Aug 2, 2021 at 1:14 PM Cooperstowners in Canada wrote:
> cooperstownersincanada posted: ” By Kevin Glew Cooperstowners in Canada > The Toronto Blue Jays dealt right-hander John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) to > the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday in exchange for cash considerations. With > the transaction, the Canuck will rejoin the team he b” >
So great to see him back in the show.
Let’s hope he’s ok.
Thanks for the comment, Scott. I hope so, too.