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Mets sticking with struggling Frank Francisco as closer

May 14, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

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Back-to-back ugly outings over the weekend left Frank Francisco with an 8.56 ERA, which along with three losses and two blown saves overall this season led to speculation that the Mets were considering a closer change.

Instead manager Terry Collins said today that he’s sticking with Francisco and the team believes his struggles might stem from tipping his pitches, with the idea being that the issue is fixable.

Francisco’s pre-2012 track record as a setup man and occasional closer suggested he was very capable of getting the job done in the ninth inning on a full-time basis, but injuries have clouded that somewhat and his fastball velocity is also down slightly from past years.

Francisco has missed plenty of bats, totaling 15 strikeouts in 13.2 innings, but he’s also handed out seven walks and opponents are hitting .328. Last year with the Blue Jays he had a 3.55 ERA and 53/18 K/BB ratio in 51 innings, so it’s not just blind faith from Collins keeping him in the role … for now, at least. In the meantime Jon Rauch looms as the obvious fallback option.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - May 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I noticed it, too. If you watch carefully, you’ll see that when he puts his foot on the rubber, it means he’s about to throw a batting practice fastball.

    • Jeremiah Graves - May 14, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      I see what you did there…

  2. biasedhomer - May 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    This is a mistake, you know sooner or later he is going to lose the closer job. Might as well do it right now and actually win those games instead of blowing them.

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