ARLINGTON -- The Rangers on Saturday placed pitcher Frank Francisco on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage and called up Derek Holland from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Holland has been mainly used as a starter this season, both with the Rangers and at Oklahoma City. But he will work out of the bullpen for now as a long reliever.
Francisco had an MRI on Saturday and the results showed inflammation but no tear in the muscle. He will be shut down while he undergoes treatment, and there is no timetable as to when he will resume throwing. The Rangers still expect him to pitch at some point in September and be available for the postseason.
"No doubt about it, he's a huge piece," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I still say we don't get this done without Frankie. I said that earlier, and I still say that."
With Francisco out, Washington is likely to use Darren Oliver and Darren O'Day as his eighth-inning setup relievers with Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando available in the sixth and seventh innings. Michael Kirkman is the team's middle reliever, and Holland now gives them a true long man.
Harrison is moving up in the bullpen pecking order. He has allowed just two runs in his past 15 2/3 innings and has a 1.57 ERA in his past 17 games.
"We're not afraid to use him in tough situations," Washington said. "He's doing a good job. He's finally figured out how to come in and throw strikes."
Holland was 6-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 11 games for the RedHawks and 2-2 with a 5.32 ERA in six games with the Rangers this season.