Brewers Tuesday: Axford eager to get started

There’s something about the game of baseball that can get its fans so excited over a day in which pitchers and catchers show up and take a physical. 

It means we’re one step closer to Opening Day, and in Milwaukee that means one step closer to kicking the cold and snow. The Milwaukee Brewers opened camp Tuesday as pitchers and catchers reported to Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix for the official start to their spring training.

“It’s fun,” Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo said of the start of spring training. “It’s always exciting to be back. It’s the first step into getting to Opening Day. Reporting here to Phoenix is a good time to see all of the guys again.”

Pitchers and catchers took their physicals Tuesday night and will hold their first official workout of the season Wednesday morning. Position players don’t have to report to camp until Friday and the first full team workout is Saturday.

“It’s amazing how fast it turns over and the offseason seems to be shorter each year,” Brewers closer John Axford said. “It’s always exciting to come into spring and come down to some nicer weather.”

Axford’s journey to Phoenix was pretty unique, as he rented an RV and began the drive to spring training with his family from his residence just outside of Toronto.

His drive ended 1,200 miles later in Tulsa, Okla., because he realized he couldn’t miss any more workouts and needed to keep throwing to stay in shape. Axford then flew to Phoenix and his family completed the drive to meet him in Arizona.

“Just being outdoors is fantastic,” Axford said. “I don’t have to throw off a portable mound inside, I get to throw of a dirt mound. I get to put on my cleats, you get to hear the cleats in the dirt, that’s always a great sound to hear.

“Just seeing everyone again gets you excited for a new season. That’s always the biggest thing (on the first day of spring training).”

Interviews for this story were provided by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.