Rangers place Gagne on 15-day DL

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers put closer Eric Gagne
on the 15-day disabled list Monday, a day after the oft-injured
right-hander left the game in the middle of just his second save
situation for his new team.

Gagne, the 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner for Los Angeles, was
appearing in consecutive games for the Rangers for the first time
Sunday when he started favoring his right leg after his 11th pitch.
He was diagnosed with a hip injury.

Gagne said he could have been back on the mound within a week,
but he was placed on the DL because the Rangers bullpen needs to be
at full strength.

"I think in four or five days, I'd be fine," Gagne said before
Monday night's game against the Seattle Mariners. "But in the
American League, you need a full bullpen, so we're not in a
situation where we can do that."

After missing most of the past two seasons with elbow and back
injuries, Gagne signed a one-year, $6 million deal loaded with
bonus opportunities. He had one save in 3 1/3 scoreless innings
after starting the season on the disabled list.

On Saturday, manager Ron Washington made a trip to the mound
because he thought something was wrong with Gagne. But Gagne said
he was fine and finished the game, a 7-0 victory over Oakland.

It was different Sunday. Gagne limped noticeably after his last
pitch and stayed on the field only about a minute after Washington
and the training staff came out. Akinori Otsuka, last year's
Rangers closer, came on to record the final two outs for the save
in a 4-3 win over the A's.

Washington said Monday that Otsuka would move back into the
closer's role, with Joaquin Benoit taking over the eighth-inning

"Health is the most important thing," Washington said. "It's
tough because he's your closer, but you push on with the players
you have and then have [Gagne] for the rest of the year."

Gagne tried to throw Monday but ended the session when he felt
more pain in the hip area.

"Just walking around and sitting down, it's fine," Gagne said.
"It just bothers me when I throw. I've never had anything like
this before. This is more a precautionary thing."

Texas recalled right-hander Frank Francisco, who was out of the
big leagues for two years with elbow problems before returning late
last season. Francisco was a key member of a bullpen that helped
keep Texas in contention until the final days in 2004, but he had
elbow ligament replacement surgery in April 2005.

This season at Triple-A Oklahoma, Francisco didn't allow a hit
or earned run in six innings, striking out 14 and walking three. He
was 1-0 with two saves in five appearances.

Francisco, who could replace Benoit as the seventh-inning
specialist, said his fastball has been clocked at 94 to 96 mph in
the minors, and he has been able to pitch effectively on
consecutive days.