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Strop recalled to join Rangers' bullpen

Strop recalled to join Rangers' bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- Pedro Strop is back. Strop was called up for the fifth time this season as the Rangers added the hard-throwing right-hander to their bullpen when rosters were expanded on Wednesday.

The Rangers could add other pitchers once the Minor League season ends. But the priority right now is to reinforce their right-handed relief now that Frank Francisco is on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage.

The Rangers have four potential right-handed relievers who could cover for Francisco at the back end of the bullpen: Strop, Alexi Ogando, Darren O'Day and Rich Harden. The Rangers moved Harden to the bullpen earlier this week. Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers miss Francisco and are looking for someone to step up in his absence.

"I'm trying to get as many right-handers in there as I can," Washington said.

Right now O'Day and Ogando will likely be the Rangers' right-handed late-inning setup relievers. O'Day has a 0.56 ERA in his past 36 games and has retired the past 12 hitters he faced. Ogando has a 1.46 ERA over his past 14 games, but also had some trouble on Tuesday.

He entered a tie game in the ninth inning on Tuesday night and threw four straight balls to the only hitter he faced. The fourth ball got past catcher Matt Treanor and skipped to the backstop for a wild pitch.

"He was just a little over-anxious," Washington said. "He was throwing 100 miles per hour. He's usually effective at 94-95."

Strop had 13 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 39 relief appearances at Triple A Oklahoma City.

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