Francisco Rodriguez pitching through back pain

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Francisco Rodriguez was visibly uncomfortable on the mound during the ninth inning
of Friday’s 5-2 win over the Twins, even requiring a visit from Mets manager Jerry Manuel
and trainer Ray Ramirez.

Though he was able to finish off his 17th save, he told Adam Rubin of ESPN.com that the dramatic back pain he experienced at Fenway Park last May has never completely gone away.

“Boston, I wasn’t even able to move. I’ve been dealing with this for a
while. I’ve been doing more stretching and some treatment on it. But
today it got a little worse. I think I’ll be all right tomorrow.”
 

The Mets’ closer indicated that he recently received a cortisone injection before the club’s recent roadtrip, but said that it only lessened the pain for “like four or five hours.” The pain hasn’t prevented him from pitching until this point and Jerry Manuel told reporters Saturday that K-Rod will be available for this afternoon’s game.

Rodriguez has a 2.13 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a 48/13 K/BB ratio over 38 innings this season.

Rangers hire Julio Rangel as new pitching coach

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The Texas Rangers have hired Julio Rangel as their new pitching coach.

Rangel has spent 12 seasons a minor league pitching instructor for the Giants and Indians.

Rangel replaces departing pitching coach Doug Brocail. Under Brocail the Rangers ranked 13th in runs allowed per game in the American League.