He is looking forward with eager anticipation to his role. He has demonstrated at times that he can be a force.
"I like the challenge, the competition," Francisco said to reporters. "It's more exciting. I haven't pitched a lot in the ninth inning as a closer. But that energy that you feel in the ninth inning as closer, for me, that's the best feeling."
In 2009, Francisco had an outstanding month of April . No team scored off him over his first seven innings of work. He allowed one walk, three hits and earned a pair of saves, finishing the month with six saves, a 0.00 ERA and nine strikeouts.
He ended the season with 25 saves and 53 strikeouts in 49 and two-thirds innings.
Francisco, like his friend Mariano Rivera, has excellent control. Over his last three seasons, Francisco has 170 strikeouts and 51 walks in 152 and two-thirds inning, for about a three-to-one ratio.
For his career, Francisco stat line reads: 9.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.72 ERA
Jeff Zimmerman of Fangraphs wrote that Francisco's strikeouts to walks ratio bodes well for 2012.
The park factors for home runs in Texas were 119/114 for lefties and righties and 114/116 in Toronto compared to 90/94 at Citi Field.
A word of caution is that Francisco is prone to injury. He's averaged only about 48 innings a season. Zimmerman presented the statistics:
2011: Missed 18 games with 1 trip to the DL
2010: Missed 37 games with 1 trip to the DL
2009: Missed 39 games with 2 trips to the DL
The Mets have helped themselves by signing Francisco. He may not be a Mariano Rivera, but he might be another Jonathan Papelbon.
At the age of 32, he is still young for a closer. Considering the Mets' finances, they made a good move that should help them.
Of course, it all depends on how many times the Mets have a lead going into the ninth inning.