ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers' new closer is old-timer Eddie Guardado, still getting hitters out at the age of 37.
Guardado, who's been the Rangers' most consistent setup man this season, takes over for C.J. Wilson, who was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with bone spurs in his left elbow.
Wilson had an MRI exam earlier in the day and will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Wilson's elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2004.
"It's not new to me," Guardado said. "If it's the ninth inning, so be it. I like being in that situation. You've got a young guy in C.J. who got an opportunity and came down with some problems."
Wilson gave up an eighth-inning grand slam to Richie Sexson in the Rangers' 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, and the club announced after the game that Wilson would go on the DL on Wednesday.
Guardado entered Wednesday night's game against the Yankees perfect in three save chances this season and with 186 saves for his career. He hasn't allowed a run in 23 of his previous 25 outings to lower his ERA from 4.03 to 3.02.
The Rangers also activated right-hander Joaquin Benoit from the 15-day disabled list because of shoulder inflammation and outrighted infielder Ryan Roberts from their 40-man roster to Triple-A Oklahoma.
Wilson is 2-2 with 24 saves in 28 chances in his first season as a closer, but his ERA skyrocketed to 6.04 after a series of shaky performances.
Guardado is familiar with the pressure of closing out games, but he hasn't been a full-time closer since he recorded 36 saves for Seattle in 2005. His move to closer makes Frank Francisco the new eighth-inning specialist, and Jamey Wright will get most of the seventh-inning work.
"I've been pitching this year like it was the ninth inning, like I was the last man standing," Guardado said. "That's given me an edge to get the job done. Pitching in the ninth, that's pressure, no doubt. In the eighth, you know there's someone behind you to pick you up if you fail. In the ninth, you've got to close the door."
Once known as "Everyday Eddie" during his 11 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Guardado said he'll do all he can to keep the Rangers in the wild-card race.
"I'm going to leave my arm on the mound one day," Guardado said with a laugh. "I'm going to turn around, pick it up and say, 'Let's go.' But that's what it's all about when you're playing for something special. You never know when you'll get to that spot again."
Wilson angered manager Ron Washington on Tuesday night when he casually flipped the ball to Washington as he walked off the mound, rather than handing the ball to him. Washington had Wilson return to the mound and make the handoff properly.
"We talked about that," Washington said. "It's in the past. He apologized and we moved on. He was upset that he gave up the grand slam, upset that he put those men on the bags. He reacted improper and he realized it."
After Tuesday night's game, Guardado had a heart-to-heart with the 27-year-old Wilson.
"We had a long talk," Guardado said. "I told him that's disrespectful, no doubt. By throwing the ball, that's not nice. You've got to admit you messed up and didn't get the job done. You've got to take your lumps like a man and walk off like a man."