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Irish In The Majors

• John Axford (2002-2005), RHP, Milwaukee Brewers: The 6-foot-5 closer has a 5.35 ERA with 51 strikeouts for the Brewers, which are 42-47 and seven games back in the National League Wild Card race. Manager Ron Roenicke announced before Tuesday’s game against St. Louis that Francisco Rodriguez would be taking Axford’s place as the Irish alumnus tries to get his confidence back in lower-pressure situations. Axford has 16 saves in 22 chances this year.

• A.J. Pollock, (2007-10), CF, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks reinstated outfielder Chris Young from the disabled list May 18 and optioned Pollock to Triple-A Reno. Pollock was hitting .229 with a homer and four RBIs in 20 games with the Diamondbacks. He was brought back up on May 30 for one game against San Francisco, did not play, and was optioned back to Reno, where he’s hitting .333 with 37 RBI in 62 games.

• Jeff Samardzija (2004-06), RHP, Chicago Cubs: Lost five of his last eight starts (one no decision) after winning four of his first six to start the season. His ERA has climbed to 4.71 with 100 strikeouts and 37 walks. The former two-sport star for the Fighting Irish routinely made it to the seventh inning earlier in the year, but hasn’t lasted beyond the fifth just twice over his last seven outings. Samardzija, who has a 6-8 record, will face the Miami Marlins today.

• Kyle Weiland (2006-08), RHP, Houston Astros: What was thought to be shoulder bursitis eventually deteriorated to the point Weiland had to undergo surgery May 1 for an infection. An MRI revealed no structural damage and doctors performed an arthroscopic procedure and the timetable for his return from the disabled list has been indefinitely extended. Weiland is 0-3 in three starts with a 6.62 ERA. He began rehab on May 9 and earlier this week was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.

• David Phelps (2005-08), RHP, New York Yankees: After two starts in the Yankees' rotation, David Phelps returned to the bullpen with the return of Andy Pettitte. Phelps lasted a total of 8 2/3 innings in his two starts and allowed two runs on nine hits en route to a 1-1 record. The 25 year old was responsible for a 4-3 loss at Detroit on June 2 after giving up two hits and an earned run in 1/3 innings and was sent down to the minors.

He was called back up in late June and pitched 3.1 innings out of the bullpen on June 29 against the Chicago White Sox and 4.1 innings against Tampa Bay on July 4. He allowed six hits and three earned runs combined in those outings and was sent back down to Double-A Trenton.

• Jeff Manship (2004-06), RHP, Minnesota Twins: The 27-year-old reliever, had made eight appearances for the Twins this season, allowing 13 runs on 18 hits for a 10.97 ERA. He was optioned to Triple-A Rochester in late June.

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