Colorado Rockies relief pitcher John Axford will be out of action indefinitely after his 2-year-old son was bit by a rattlesnake near the family's rental home in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post.
Axford left the team last Wednesday after his youngest son, Jameson, was hospitalized in serious condition. Doctors fear amputation of some toes may be necessary, but that's an upgrade of their initial concerns, which included a possible loss of the foot.
The veteran reliever briefly talked with Groke about the tough situation:
"As bad as it looks, it's looking better," Axford said. "We're trying to take things step by step. Any positive thoughts people have for him would be well-received."
Axford is "not sure" when he'll return to the club on a regular basis. He was at Salt River Fields on Tuesday for a bullpen session while his wife and two sons remained in the hospital. Axford is in line to be one of at least seven -- and possibly eight -- relievers to start the season for the Rockies. The club signed him to a minor league deal in the offseason and quickly added him to the 40-man roster earlier this month.
The 31-year-old right-hander has yet to allow a run and has surrendered only one hit in five innings this spring.