Rangers mull problems, options in 'pen

Rangers mull problems, options in 'pen

BOSTON -- Rangers relievers went into Wednesday's game with a combined ERA of 4.66, fourth highest in the American League. They were 2-for-5 in save opportunities. Only the Orioles (2-for-6) were worse.

The Rangers have identified two needs. Doing something about it is a different matter.

Texas would like a second left-handed reliever in the bullpen to go with Darren Oliver, and it has received good reports on Clay Rapada at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But general manager Jon Daniels made it clear that C.J. Wilson and Derek Holland are not being considered. Wilson is in the Rangers' starting rotation, and Holland is doing the same at Triple-A Oklahoma City, and the club doesn't want to disrupt that.

"They're both throwing the ball very well in that role," Daniels said.

They would also like a power-right handed reliever for the eighth inning. Chris Ray and Frank Francisco are the likely candidates, but it's clear that manager Ron Washington is reluctant to use them in the eighth while trying to protect a lead until they get their act together.

"Chris Ray could be the guy, but we've got to get him some innings,' Washington said.

Francisco, with the score tied Tuesday night vs. the Red Sox, pitched the ninth inning and ended up taking the loss. He is now 2-3 with a 12.60 ERA after six games. In five innings, he has allowed seven runs on 10 hits and four walks with four strikeouts.

"I think Frankie could be that guy, he's just got to get it together," Washington said. "Frankie is showing improvement. He just had a little trouble hitting his spots [Tuesday night]. The ball came out better and his fire was better. He couldn't find his rhythm, but his demeanor was better."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.