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Blue Jays activate closer Frank Francisco from disabled list

Apr 19, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

frank-francisco-blue-jays-spring Reuters

Sidelined since mid-March with a strained pectoral muscle, Frank Francisco has been activated from the disabled list and figures to take over as the Blue Jays’ closer fairly soon.

Much like he did stepping for Joe Nathan with the Twins last season Jon Rauch has done a solid job in place of Francisco, converting all three of his save chances while posting a 2.70 ERA and 5/2 K/BB ratio in 6.2 innings.

Rauch may hang onto the job until Francisco puts together a good outing or two in a lower-leverage role, but Toronto acquired Francisco to be the closer after he lost that job to Neftali Feliz in Texas last season.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Francisco’s return the Blue Jays optioned Jesse Litsch to Triple-A, which also paves the way for Brandon Morrow to come off the DL and take his spot in the rotation back from Litsch on Friday.

  1. cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Oh no! Not Jesse Litsch! Gone to AAA, alas, alas…no more Hagar the Horrible? What shall I do? Litsch was not too bad. I’m surprised he got the axe to the minors. I’d have sent Cecil drown instead of Hagar, if he had any options. Of the 2 its been Litsch who’s proven the more crafty, and had the better location and was the harder to hit. His record would have been better but for a combination of Barry Scott and the bullpen screwing him over.

    Well, at any rate Francisco will be a nice addition if he has any velocity. Strained pecs are dodgy beasts and since he’ll need his chest muscles for power I hope he’s well and truly over it.

    And as for Brandon Morrow; he throws hard but he’s as tender and delicate as a spring lamb. He’ll be hurt inside a month and be off for surgery. Woe is me…

  2. saucepaws - Apr 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Cecil has earned a bit of a leash after his performance last year. They’ll let the kid work it out on the big squad rather than ship him back to Vegas.

    Morrow was held back from the opening day roster for precautionary reasons. They are aiming to have him pitch 180 innings this year and this late start may allow them to continue trotting him out there well into September. I like to blame Seattle for their mistreatment of him, if they had kept him in the rotation from the get-go, he’d be a 210 inning, strikeout monster by now. Hopefully for Jays fans his arm holds up and he can reach that potential.

    Glad that Fat Jesse Litch is gone form the rotation. Now, they just have to bite the bullet and DFA JoJo Reyes in favour of Mark Rzycepabcdefghiki…

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