By Matt Snyder
Former Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin was given his unconditional release Wednesday after a nightmarish 2011 campaign for the one-time All-Star, the Cardinals announced. He was removed from the role he had filled the past few years after blowing four of his first five save chances and has never been able to fully bounce back. He has an 8.46 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, four losses and four blown saves in 21 appearances. In light of this, the release is merciful from a certain point of view, as he actually got worse in June.
Franklin was a successful closer for the Cardinals from about halfway through 2008 until this season. He saved 82 games in three seasons prior to this one and in 2009 was lights out. He had a 1.92 ERA and 38 saves during the only season he's ever made an All-Star Game.
It's probable Franklin gets another shot somewhere else, but certainly not a given. He's 38 years old and could just be washed up. Odds are someone rolls the dice to see if a change of scenery can rekindle some of the success he had the past three seasons.
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