6:24pm: Axford first experienced discomfort while warming last night, Joe Stiglich of NBC Bay Area reports (Twitter links). He’ll undergo an MRI, but the hope is that he’ll be back in the minimum time — only a week, since the DL placement can be backdated.
It’s not clear at this point what kind of timeline the team anticipates for Axford to return. Oakland will pull up righty Jesse Hahn from Triple-A to take Axford’s spot on the roster for the time being.
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Axford, 34, hadn’t appeared yet in game action but was seen warming up in the pen. He threw 7 2/3 frames in Spring Training, allowing three earned on ten hits and five walks while notching just three strikeouts.
The A’s still have some flux in their late-inning bullpen plans, but Axford would figure to fit in as a setup arm. Last year, he threw 65 2/3 innings of 3.97 ERA ball with 8.2 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9. Though that represented a falloff in the strikeout department, he was still working at 95.6 mph with his average fastball and managed a 10.6% swinging-strike rate that was the second-highest mark of his career.