ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Rangers closer Frank Francisco was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, even after completing a bullpen session in which he felt no pain.

Francisco hasn’t pitched since May 6 because of right biceps tendinitis, but went into Saturday’s games still tied for the AL lead with nine saves.

After playing catch the previous two days, Francisco threw a 15-minute bullpen session Saturday. The right-hander said he didn’t feel any pain, but also didn’t feel sharp.

“Kind of playing on the cautious side, we’re going to have him throw another bullpen Monday and possibly one more throwing session after that,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Take the perspective of we have five months to go, he’s an important part of our bullpen, let’s have him all but three more games of it.”

Francisco has made 25 consecutive scoreless appearances.

Right-hander Warner Madrigal was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Madrigal was on the Rangers’ opening day roster before being optioned April 15 to Oklahoma, where he had three saves and a 1.65 ERA in 12 appearances.

The move was retroactive to May 7, meaning Francisco will be eligible to return Friday night when the Rangers open interleague play in Houston.

Had the Rangers waited until after Francisco threw Monday, an off day for the team, they would not have been able to make the DL move retroactive. Daniels expects Francisco to be ready to return next weekend “based on feedback Frankie’s giving us and the way he looked (Saturday).” Francisco will likely throw to live hitters Wednesday.

After the bullpen session Saturday, before the Rangers put him on the DL, Francisco said he felt OK.

“I was throwing good, had my location and no pain,” Francisco said. “But the ball didn’t jump out of my hand like it usually does.”

AP-ES-05-16-09 1802EDT

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