Frank Francisco ready to begin rehab assignment

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Mets right-hander Frank Francisco will begin a minor-league rehab assignment today at Single-A, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Francisco underwent minor elbow surgery in December and began the season on the disabled list after some setbacks in his recovery during spring training, opening the door for Bobby Parnell to serve as the Mets’ closer.

Parnell has converted his lone save chance so far, with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings overall, and seems likely to hang onto ninth-inning duties unless he falters in a major way. There’s no timetable yet for Francisco’s return, but beginning the rehab stint starts a 30-day clock that can only be reset if he suffers a setback or another injury.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.