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Bullpens: Franklin, Thornton struggling

Updated: April 11, 2011, 4:52 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
It's tough to feel bad for St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin, because to be honest, he has lasted as the team's closer a lot longer than most people thought he would. Then again, he's getting a bit of a bad deal today. Yes, Franklin has already blown three save opportunities this season, the third one when center fielder Colby Rasmus dropped a Miguel Tejada ninth-inning fly ball in the gap Saturday, allowing the tying and winning runs to score. If Rasmus catches that very-catchable ball, there's probably nobody calling for Franklin's head today.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, manager Tony La Russa intends to remain patient and stick with Franklin as the closer. But what myself and colleagues found interesting about that same Post-Dispatch report is that Jason Motte might not be next in line. Who is? The story suggests it would be that bastion of closer talent, one Miguel Batista.

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