Baseball a 'haven' for Axford in return to Rox

Baseball a 'haven' for Axford in return to Rox

PHOENIX -- Forget whatever pressure is supposed to come with pitching in the ninth, or any other inning. Rockies closer John Axford finds pitching relaxing.

Axford returned to the team Friday after being away for three days to attend to what he called a matter that is "private with our family." Axford emphasized that his 3-year-old son Jameson, bitten by a rattlesnake during Spring Training, continues to recover and the absence was not because of a health concern.

The Rockies did not activate Axford for Friday's game against the D-backs and are considering activating him Saturday -- they want him re-acclimated first.

"It's been an escape, especially with everything that's been going on this year, starting in Spring Training," Axford said. "This has been kind of my haven, the place where I can go to get away. All these guys are my family. As cliché as it sounds, this is my home away from home. I'm comfortable here. I can focus on things I need to focus on and concentrate on my pitching."

Jameson and his older brother, J.B., recently celebrated birthdays. As a sign of progress, Axford recently posted video of his son -- who is still in a cast as the skin on his foot re-forms -- taking his first steps since the incident:

Manager Walt Weiss said, "He's been through a lot, just got back into town. We're just being cautious."

Worth noting

• Outfield prospect David Dahl, who had his spleen removed on June 1 after suffering an injury in an on-field collision while playing at Double-A New Britain, is doing "all baseball activities and very close to going out on a rehab assignment," Rockies senior director of player development Zach Wilson said Friday. Dahl is expected to report to Short-Season Class A Boise on Saturday to continue his exercises, with an eye toward soon appearing in games.

Dahl, 21, the Rockies' No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft, was hitting .269 with three home runs and 16 RBIs through 44 games of his first Double-A season. The injury occurred when Dahl, playing center field, crashed into second baseman Juan Ciriaco while chasing a popup.

• Root Sports Rocky Mountain broadcaster Jenny Cavnar was surprised with and thankful for the reaction she received for serving as an analyst on the 850 KOA radio broadcast on Thursday. She'll do Friday and Saturday's games as well.

Female broadcasters on radio are rare. Suzyn Waldman, a longtime Yankees broadcaster on TV and radio, is the only regular female radio broadcaster. Waldman called a Mets-Astros game in the 1990s. A check with MLB officials and historians revealed that Cavnar was the only other female broadcaster known to have called a National League game. Cavnar said she heard from many fans, and received e-mails from a couple of broadcasting legends.

"I was overwhelmed by the reaction, from family and friends at first, people listening, people tweeting on the Internet -- I had to turn my phone off because I was getting text messages," she said. "It was a really nice response.

"This morning to wake up to e-mails from Suzyn Waldman and Lesley Visser was really unexpected. It really blew me away that they took the time to congratulate me. It was very nice."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.