Rockies reinstate Axford after son bitten by rattlesnake
DENVER (AP) For John Axford, this comes as a mighty big relief: His young son is finally back at home and in his own bed after spending four weeks in the hospital to treat rattlesnake bites.
''I'm definitely ecstatic,'' the Colorado Rockies right-hander said. ''My mind is at ease.''
Axford was reinstated after missing 10 days as he tended to 2-year-old Jameson, who was bitten twice on the right foot last month in the yard of the house the family rented in Scottsdale, Arizona, for spring training.
Doctors are trying to improve mobility in Jameson's foot after an infection in the area left it ''down to tendon and bone,'' Axford explained. His son took an emergency medical flight from Arizona to Denver last week for more treatment.
Axford was placed on the family medical emergency list on April 12 before being moved to the restricted list.
In other moves Wednesday, Colorado put righty LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis and recalled righty Scott Oberg from Triple-A Albuquerque. The Rockies optioned catcher/first baseman Wilin Rosario to Albuquerque.
Axford said Jameson will go through several more procedures to fix his foot, including another Thursday. But he took solace in the fact that his son will at least be able to spend most of his recovery time at home.
''Our son is no longer in a hospital and in a hospital bed,'' said Axford, who also has a 3-year-old son, JB. ''He can be with his family, be at home and be with his brother. Have some space. That's the biggest thing for us.''
Axford has made one appearance for the Rockies this season, picking up a save with a scoreless 10th inning on April 8 in Milwaukee. Really, though, his thoughts have been anywhere but the diamond through this ordeal. His wife, Nicole, has constantly remained by their son's side.
''It's still going to be a process. What they're doing with his foot is not very commonplace,'' Axford said. ''It's going to be a longer and slower process for him because of how old he is. ... We're taking it day by day and hoping for the best.''
Axford stayed sharp while away by throwing bullpen sessions.
''He's game ready,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''This is not his first rodeo. He'll be ready.''
Colorado sure could use him, too, given the state of its beleaguered bullpen. That's a reason why Weiss sent down Rosario, calling the move ''extremely tough.''
Weiss said the decision was the only option, especially with third baseman Nolan Arenado and outfielder Corey Dickerson banged up. The Rockies are converting Rosario from catcher to first this season. In his limited role, Rosario is hitting .357 with a pinch-hit homer in the 10th inning at Milwaukee on April 8.
''It has nothing to do with Wilin's performance,'' Weiss said. ''We really didn't have any other choice.''