Francisco Gets Ugly Welcome Back To Closer Role

Frank Francisco blew the save last night in his first appearance as closer since going on the DL last month

Frankie Francisco resumed his duties as closer on Wednesday night against the Angels in Arlington, replacing C.J. Wilson, who filled that role in his absence; Wilson returned to the role in which he entered the season, as the team’s left-handed set-up man.

Francisco, taking the entire season into context, has been a great closer.
 
Wilson, though, has excelled in both roles, both as a part of the 1-2 set-up punch with Darren O’Day as well as that of ninth inning specialist; he was 7 of 8 in save opportunities.

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In any case, the news that Francisco would return as Texas’ closer was incontrovertibly good for Rangers fans.
 
Even after Francisco blew the save on Tuesday night (after Wilson had struck out the side in the eighth), it’s hard to forget the sheer dominance he displayed before his first trip to the DL last month.
 
And he was better than good; he was Eric-Gagne-In-2004-Good.
 
But it is a new day, with new standings and new questions; namely (and yes, it must be asked), who should be closing games for your Texas Rangers?
 
Francisco seems to own the role as it stands now, though there seems to be a fair contingent of fans that believe, as Richard Durrett argues in today’s DMN Rangers Blog, that C.J. Wilson is the better option.
 
Ron Washington, however, has remained stalwart in his support of the closer, who had been in the set-up role for the past week or so, coming off the disabled list.
 
"This is where I feel comfortable," Francisco said on Wednesday, who also said that his shoulder was doing well. “I've gone back-to-back already and felt good,” he said.
 
Washington said that he wouldn’t again use Francisco three days in a row, as he did somewhat controversially earlier in the year, unless he has a decidedly low pitch count in one of the three. This, obviously, could lead to Wilson coming in for the ninth in some instances.
 
"C.J. will close games when Frankie isn't available," Washington said.
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