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07/20/09 5:53 PM ET
Francisco lands on disabled list
Rangers closer sidelined with mild case of pneumonia
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Frank Francisco is back on the disabled list for the third time this season, and reliever Willie Eyre has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Francisco was placed on the disabled list Monday afternoon for what was described as a mild case of pneumonia. He was backdated to July 11 so he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday when the Rangers are in Kansas City. C.J. Wilson steps back into the closer's role. Francisco, who hasn't pitched in a game since July 10, started feeling under the weather on Saturday and was sent home on Sunday. He has not been hospitalized, but is taking antibiotics and resting at home. "It hit him hard on Sunday," manager Ron Washington said. "We want to keep him from being around these other guys." Francisco has already been on the disabled list twice this season because of shoulder issues. He leads the Rangers with 15 saves, and Wilson has seven in his role as interim closer. The Rangers are the only team in the American League that has two relievers with at least seven saves. Eyre has a 5.06 ERA in four previous relief appearances with the Rangers and a 2.29 ERA in 10 games, including two starts, with Oklahoma City. He missed 2 1/2 months because of two trips to the disabled list because of a strained groin muscle. The Rangers went with Eyre instead of Neftali Feliz because he can pitch multiple innings. The Rangers need "length" after their relievers were called upon for eight innings in Sunday's 5-3 victory in 12 innings over the Twins. "We have to straighten our pitching out," Washington said. "Last night was pretty rough."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.