Francisco to close for Rangers

Updated: July 1, 2009, 7:54 PM ET
Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Frank Francisco is back in the role he prefers: closer.

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington made the move before his club played the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday night.

Francisco has spent two stints on the DL this season, and has been used mostly as a setup man since he was activated on June 20.

"This is where I feel comfortable," Francisco said.

Francisco was on the 15-day disabled list from May 7-21 with right biceps tendinitis and was back on the DL from June 4-20 with right shoulder tendinitis.

C.J. Wilson, who handled the bulk of the save situations while Francisco recovered from the shoulder problem, will be used as a left-handed setup man. Wilson was 7-for-8 in save opportunities.

"C.J. will close games when Frankie isn't available," Washington said.

Washington used Francisco to get the final two outs in a non-save situation in Tuesday night's 9-5 win over the Angels, and he felt Francisco was ready to resume closing.

Francisco converted 17 straight save opportunities dating back to last season before a blown save last Thursday in Arizona, a game the Rangers ended up winning in 12 innings, 9-8.

Francisco said his arm feels fine and that he won't have a problem closing on consecutive days.

"I've gone back-to-back already and felt good," Francisco said.

Washington said he probably wouldn't use Francisco on three consecutive days unless the right-hander had a particularly low pitch count in one of the outings.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press