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Weiss hopeful Francis' experience translates to 'pen

DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he hopes veteran left-hander Jeff Francis, who struggled in 11 early-season starts before being sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs, can learn the relief role well enough to return and contribute.

The club announced Friday that Francis, after six starts at Colorado Springs, will convert to the bullpen. The 32-year-old has made just one relief appearance in 216 Major League games and two in 84 games in the Minors.

"Jeff brings a lot to the table in experience and wisdom and ability to pitch up here," Weiss said. "He's got a good track record and he's a great pro. If that's a role that he can fill for us, one that he can do successfully, I don't doubt that."

Weiss said the Rockies haven't determined if Francis would be used as a specialist against difficult left-handed hitters or in a multiple-innings role.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
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