Frank Francisco getting close to rejoining Rangers bullpen

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Out since August 27 with a back injury, Frank Francisco threw 20 pitches from flat ground yesterday in what Anthony Andro of the Dallas Morning News called “the most extensive throwing session he’s had since he went on the disabled list.”
Andro reports that Francisco will advance to throwing off a mound tomorrow, with a follow-up bullpen session slated for Thursday, at which point he could be cleared for game action with an eye toward including him on the ALDS roster.
While he’s unlikely to immediately reclaim a prominent late-inning role after a month on the sidelines, Francisco would certainly be a nice “extra” arm in the middle innings for the Rangers. Prior to landing on the DL he had a 3.76 ERA, .247 opponents’ batting average, and 60/18 K/BB ratio in 52.2 innings.
He actually began the season as Texas’ closer before early struggles led the Rangers to hand ninth-inning duties to rookie Neftali Feliz.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.