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Brewers sticking with closer John Axford after rough start

Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 29: Reliever John Axford #59 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 29, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Brewers beat the Cardinals 3-2. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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Brewers closer John Axford is off to a rough start, allowing three homers and a total of six hits in 11 plate appearances while working with decreased velocity.

Axford says he feels fine physically and Adam McCalvy of writes that the Brewers are unlikely to make any quick decisions about removing him as closer, but manager Ron Roenicke did sound a little worried when he said the right-hander’s velocity “was way down, so we’ll talk to him and see how he’s doing.”

McCalvy reports that Jim Henderson would be “Plan B” for the Brewers after racking up 45 strikeouts in 31 innings as a 29-year-old rookie last season, but it’s worth noting that Axford went through a rough patch last year--even losing the closer job briefly--and bounced back to convert 17 of his final 18 save chances with 30 strikeouts in 19 innings after mid-August.