Michael Cuddyer’s hitting streak ends at 27 games

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Seemed long. Then you realize that he was still one shy of the halfway point to DiMaggio. Those hitting streaks are hard.

Especially when you have to face Clayton Kershaw, who was throwing lightning bolts last night. Cuddyer finished 0-for-4 against the lefty, ending the Rockies’ longest hitting streak in franchise history at 27 games.

I think 30 is the official point when we should start to get a tad excited. Little DiMaggio counters or a “hit streak watch” can start at, I dunno, 40.  But for a guy like Cuddyer, who has never been an especially fantastic contact hitter, a 27-game streak is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a pretty darn nice accomplishment, actually.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.