The Twins signed pitcher Scott Atchison to a minor league deal on Thursday, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. Atchison was released by the Indians on Sunday.
Atchison, 39, posted a 6.86 ERA with a 12/4 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings for the Indians across 23 appearances. He had much more success last season, finishing with a 2.75 ERA in 72 innings. Though Atchison displays good control, he lacks the bat-missing ability that most bullpen arms have.
After resuming a suspended game from August 31, the Indians hung on to defeat the Royals 4-3 in 10 innings early this evening at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
It only took nine minutes to complete, as the Indians had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 10th when play was originally halted due to rain. Get your “speed up the game” jokes in here. Scott Atchison was tasked with protecting the lead for Cleveland and gave up a leadoff single to Mike Moustakas. Eric Hosmer then pinch hit for Erik Kratz and struck out swinging before pinch-runner Terrance Gore stole second base. Alcides Escobar grounded out to third base for the second out, but Nori Aoki then laced a single to left to bring the Royals within one run. Things got really interesting when pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson stole second base, but Atchison got Omar Infante to pop up to shortstop to end it.
With the victory, the Indians now trail the Royals by 2 1/2 games for the second Wild Card spot. The two teams will begin a crucial three-game series in a little less than one hour from now. The Athletics still appear vulnerable despite having a half-game lead for the top Wild Card spot and the Mariners are just one game behind the Royals. This week should be a lot of fun.
It’s an odd time of the year for contract extensions to be announced, but that’s what the Indians did. If only a minor one: they announced that they have signed righty reliever Scott Atchison through the 2015 season with a club option for 2016.
Atchison, 38, and the reliever who looks most like your high school gym teacher, has been great in 2014, posting a 6-0 record with a 2.95 ERA in 53 relief appearances, striking out 37 and walking nine in 55 innings. For his career he’s 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA in 258 Major League appearances.
Everyone always says they can go out in the winter and revamp the bullpen. The Indians have decided, nope, they’d rather keep what they have. Can’t blame ’em.
About a month ago, Indians manager Terry Francona took John Axford out of the closer’s role after the right-hander had compiled a 4.91 ERA in 14 2/3 innings while blowing two saves and losing three games. Since then, the Indians have used Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Scott Atchison, and Mark Rzepczynski to nail down saves and it’s been working out well.
As MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports, however, Francona would like to see Axford back in the closer’s role eventually even though his current corps of hurlers are getting the job done. Since his demotion into lower-leverage innings, Axford has a 1.08 ERA with 11 strikeouts and four walks in 8 1/3 innings.
The struggling John Axford is officially off of closer’s duty for the Indians, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Scott Atchison, and Marc Rzepczynski will share the role as closer, Hoynes adds.
Axford, signed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal in December, has posted a 4.91 ERA. The struggles have been prominent recently, as the right-hander has allowed runs in three out of his last four appearances. While Axford has struck out 15 batters in 14 2/3 innings, he has also walked 13 and allowed three home runs. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that manager Terry Francona hopes to get Axford back into the ninth inning once he straightens out.
Axford, 31, struggled in 2012 and ’13 with the Brewers, prompting a late-August trade to the Cardinals last season, where he appeared to find himself, posting a 1.74 ERA in 10 1/3 innings through the end of the season. Unfortunately, it appears to have been a fluke.