Rangers want Francisco comfortable

Rangers want Francisco comfortable

CLEVELAND -- Rangers manager Ron Washington has a plan for reliever Frank Francisco.

Right now he wants to use Francisco in the sixth or seventh inning -- preferably in non-pressure situations -- while he gets himself together.

"Hopefully it will be in a game where he can establish himself and if something happens, he doesn't have to worry about it," Washington said before Monday's game against the Indians. "The key is to get Frankie right. It will be tough for us to be as consistent as we need to be without Frankie.

"What we've been seeing is not Frankie. We need to see Frankie. I don't see that animal, the guy who when he takes the ball and goes toward home plate says the game is over. We've got to get him back."

Washington said on Sunday that he was moving Neftali Feliz into the closer's role after Francisco suffered two blown saves last week in his first two opportunities. Washington hasn't committed to that being a permanent arrangement.

"Let's let this play out," Washington said. "The ninth inning is not as easy as you think. He hasn't had an opportunity yet."

Francisco allowed three runs in the ninth inning in a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday and again in a 4-3 loss to the Mariners on Saturday.

"I feel good," Francisco said. "He's the manager. He's the one that makes that decision. There's nothing I can do about it. He's making the decision to help the team out and help me out.

"But everything is good. I'm the same guy. I haven't changed at all. I just need to keep making pitches and I'll get guys out."