NEW YORK -- Frank Francisco's turbulent season took another turn for the worse this week, when the Mets diagnosed their closer with right elbow tendinitis. Francisco was unavailable for Wednesday's game against the Phillies with the issue, which manager Terry Collins said has been bothering him since Sunday.
"He's had it for three days," Collins said. "We just didn't need to use him."
Francisco has not appeared in a game since Sunday, when he fired a scoreless inning in Milwaukee. Though Francisco has pitched fairly regularly in September, the Mets have not presented him with a save opportunity since Sept. 1. He has just five saves chances since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 4, and has converted all of them.
Still under contract for one year and $6.5 million after this season, Francisco has posted a 5.53 ERA with 23 saves in 26 chances. He missed time in Spring Training with a right knee injury, later spending more than a month on the DL with a series of midsection and knee issues.
Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin have all seen action late in games this season, and would be the leading candidates for save opportunities should Francisco miss any significant time.