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April 23, 2007

Francisco Up, Gagne Disabled

Texas recalled reliever FRANK FRANCISCO from AAA Oklahoma and placed reliever ERIC GAGNE on the 15-day Disabled List.

In case you’re not on the Newberg report mailing list, here’s what I said about Francisco after his Friday night appearance against Round Rock:

Frank Francisco pitched the last two innings for Oklahoma. Quite simply, he exists on a much higher level than any of the game’s other pitchers. Tonight, he used a fastball that ran between 92-95, an upper-eighties splitter, and a slow curve. Francisco’s first pitch of the game was a 94 MPH fastball that rose beyond Quiroz’s glove and hit the screen. He flashed a big smile as he received another ball. Then, he struck out the side in order.

In the ninth, Francisco very nearly blew the game. He had Josh Anderson down 0-2 but buried his fourth consecutive splitter in Anderson’s posterior. Anderson stole second entirely off Francisco, who then walked Eric Bruntlett and Hunter Pence to load the bases with none out. Brooks Conrad generously popped out on a 1-0 pitch. Eric Munson worked his count to 3-2, but Francisco crushed him with a low, hard fastball. Francisco completed the dramatic win by striking out Danny Klassen on three consecutive fastballs.

Francisco has faced 23 batters in AAA. 14 have struck out. Four made other outs. Three walked. One was hit by a pitch, and I think one reached on an error. Which is to say, opponents are hitting .000/.130/.000 against him. Control may be an issue, but he’s cooking with serious gas again.

Posted by Lucas at April 23, 2007 06:08 PM