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Monday, April 12, 2010
Clubhouse notes: Francisco, Arias, Garko

By Richard Durrett

CLEVELAND -- Manager Ron Washington said the plan for Frank Francisco is to pitch him in the sixth or seventh inning in some lower pressure situations to "get him right."

Washington noted that C.J. Wilson needed the same sort of treatment out of the bullpen and benefited from it. Washington said he didn't see the Francisco that "when he takes the ball, it's over." Francisco had two blown saves in the first week of the season and the club has decided to make Neftali Feliz the closer. He is expected to stay in that role as long as he has success.

"Let's let it play itself out," Washington said. "The ninth inning is not as easy as you think."

Washington knows the club needs a confident and productive Francisco in the long run.

"This gives him a chance to establish himself again," Washington said. "We need to get Frankie right. It's tough for us to be as consistent as we need to be without Frankie Francisco."

Other notes:

* Joaquin Arias is hitting .500 in the last few games, so Washington will keep going with the hot hand. Arias is in the lineup today. As for what his solid hitting means longer term, that remains to be seen. Washington said defense is still the priority when it comes to the infield utility spot once Ian Kinsler (high ankle sprain) returns. Arias said he feels comfortable at the plate.

"I feel very happy," Arias said. "I'm working every day with the hitting coach and I have some rhythm at the plate. I'm just trying to put the ball in play."

Arias said he's concentrating on watching the ball all the way in so he can make smart decisions. He's also worked on going the other way more.

* 1B Ryan Garko will play against his former team in Thursday's afternoon game. He said he's happy to be back, but added that it "will be weird to sit in the other dugout." More on that later.

* OF Julio Borbon said he took the time on Sunday to watch the game and take a break, though he added he wasn't physically or mentally fatigued this early in the season. "That break was about numbers," Borbon said. "I just need to go out and have fun and play."

* OF David Murphy led off in Sunday's game. Washington said he just felt like he couldn't insert Murphy too low in the lineup. He did say that if Borbon needs a break from leadoff at times, that Elvis Andrus would probably get the call.