Axford brings son home for first time since snakebite
Rockies reliever activated off restricted list
DENVER -- Activated from the restricted list, Rockies righty reliever John Axford celebrated bringing his 2 1/2-year-old son home Wednesday for the first time in the four weeks since he was bitten twice on the right foot by a rattlesnake.
Wednesday night's 5-4 win over the Padres marked Axford's first in uniform since he went on the family medical emergency leave list April 12 and the restricted list seven days later. Axford was away from the team helping his son, Jameson, transfer from a hospital in Arizona, where he was at the time of the snakebite, to Denver.
Jameson still has numerous procedures involved in a lengthy recovery process. A procedure called Integra is designed to help him regenerate collagen tissue. But being home is a major forward step.
"He has a procedure [Thursday] and it looks like he'll have one every week, but he's going to be home five days a week, maybe seven if the procedures go well," said Axford, who pitched a scoreless eighth Wednesday. "No big surgeries until he gets a graft, possibly in four to six weeks depending on how things are doing right now."
Axford has kept his arm in shape while away from the club.
"I was able to come in every day and get some work done -- throw, work out, whatever I needed," Axford said. "With the cold, snow days we had here, I did those inside. I was able to throw bullpens. I've kept myself prepared, game-ready, this entire time."
The Rockies need Axford, who made one appearance before being deactivated to be with his family. The bullpen went into Wednesday night leading the National League with 52 1/3 innings through the team's 14 games.
The Rockies also recalled Scott Oberg from Triple-A Albuquerque. In corresponding moves, the Rockies placed LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis and optioned first baseman Wilin Rosario to Albuquerque. The moves ensure rest for Hawkins, who began the year as closer and is 1-1 with a 10.50 ERA in seven games, and bring the Rockies to eight relievers.
• Righty David Hale, recovering from a left oblique strain, will join Triple-A on Saturday at Las Vegas for his second injury rehab start. Hale pitched 2 1/3 innings Monday for Class A Modesto and gave up two unearned runs, although one of the two errors came when Hale slipped while fielding.
Hale said his pitches while with Modesto were "really good -- it would've been a really quick outing if I'd been able to stay on my feet fielding dribblers."
Hale swung a bat Tuesday for the first time since the Spring Training injury and had no problems. Hitting in a game will be a test.
• Catcher Tommy Murphy, the Rockies' No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, was named Double-A Eastern League Player of the Week for April 9-19, when he hit .405 (15-for-37) with three home runs, six doubles, seven RBIs, six walks and 14 strikeouts for New Britain.