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Cardinals Nearing Decision on Struggling Franklin

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The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be edging closer to a decision on what to do with struggling reliever Ryan Franklin.

2011 has been a complete disaster for the 38 year old.  It only took the Cardinals until the middle of April to remove Franklin from his closing role, after the right hander blew 4 of his 5 save opportunities.

On the year he’s put up an ERA of 8.46 and hasn’t been able to post an earned run average south of 5 during any month of the season.  He’s allowed at least 1 earned run in two thirds of his appearances.

It’s been a very sharp drop off for Franklin, who saved 38 and 27 games for the Cards in 2009 and 2010.  He was named to the NL All-Star team in 09, and finished the year with a 1.98 ERA.

"“He’s been very good in his career. He’s been great for us,” La Russa said. “Just so far he’s had a year with some tough outcomes. Whether it’s coaches, teammates or anybody watching the club, no one suffers more than he does.”"

Luck has not been in Franklin’s favor this season, as the righty is currently sporting a .354 BABIP, by far the highest of his career.  Even with all of the ugly numbers he’s posted this season, Franklin’s xFIP is 4.17.

St. Louis could get creative with Franklin, possibly placing him on the disabled list or designating him for assignment.  This would either allow him some time off, or the opportunity to figure things out in the minors.

For more on the Cardinals, be sure to check out Redbird Rants.