Francis Beltrán

From BR Bullpen


Francis Lebrón Beltrán

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 5", Weight 220 lb.

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BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Francis Beltrán holds the distinction of being the last pitcher in the history of the Montreal Expos.

Minor League Apprenticeship[edit]

Gifted with an above-average fastball and a large frame, Beltrán was signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent on November 15, 1996, and spent his first three professional seasons with the Rookie-level AZL Cubs until earning a promotion to the Class A Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League in the course of the 1999 season. His first real taste of success came with that team in 2000 when he compiled a 2-2 record with 8 saves in 25 games, posting a 2.68 ERA. He struck out 52 batters in 44 innings, while allowing only 28 hits. Beltrán moved to the starting rotation with the Daytona Cubs in 2001, but took a step backwards, with a 5.00 ERA in 95 innings. He was switched back to the bullpen in 2002 and became one of the Cubs' top pitching prospects by saving 23 games for the Double A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx of the Southern League, with 43 strikeouts in 42 innings and a 2.59 ERA.

Trying to make the Cubs' bullpen[edit]

Beltrán was called up to the Major Leagues in June 2002. He made his debut June 28, pitching a third of an inning in an interleague game against the cross-town Chicago White Sox. He was sent back down to Double A after only one more appearance, but came back to Chicago in mid-August. He pitched 11 times in all for the Cubs that first season with a 7.50 ERA and no decisions. His 2003 season was shortened by two shoulder injuries, between which he managed to go 6-2, 2.96 and 4 saves in 31 games for the Triple A Iowa Cubs. He was called up to Chicago for a few days in mid-June, but was not used in a game. Beltrán started the 2004 season back in Iowa, but was back in Chicago by mid-April. He pitched 34 games for the Cubs before being sent back down to Triple A on July 20. He recorded his first major league win on May 16 in San Diego. His record stood at 2-2, 4.63 when he was sent down, with an impressive 40 strikeouts in 35 innings. He barely had time to unpack his bags in Iowa, however, as he was included in a complex four-team trade concluded at the July 31 trading deadline. When the dust settled, Nomar Garciaparra was a Cub, Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz were members of the Boston Red Sox, and Beltrán, along with teammates Alex Gonzalez and Brendan Harris, had been traded to the Montreal Expos.

A new team and arm woes[edit]

Francis was not an unknown quantity to the Expos' brass. In the 2004 Caribbean Series, he earned the Series MVP award while pitching for the Licey Tigers, who were managed by Manny Acta, the Expos' third-base coach. Beltrán headed to Edmonton after the trade, where he was immediately installed as the team's closer. In five outings, he saved three games while giving up only one run and struck out six batters in five innings. When Jon Rauch went on the Expos' disabled list on August 16, Beltran was called up and made his debut with the team the same evening in San Francisco. He gave up runs in each of his first four outings for Montreal, and joined Rauch on the disabled list on August 26 as he complained of soreness in his shoulder. He returned to action September 11 and started pitching better. He earned his first Major League save on September 18, pitching a scoreless 14th inning in a 6-5 Expos win in Philadelphia. He made history on October 3 in Shea Stadium as he pitched the eighth inning and allowed the last run of an 8-1 loss to the Mets. This was the Expos' last game ever, making Beltran the team's last-ever pitcher. Overall, his ERA with Montreal was an uninspiring 7.53 in 11 games. Beltrán followed the Expos to Washington in the offseason, where they became the Washington Nationals. He suffered a major setback during spring training, when he had to undergo shoulder surgery. He missed the entire 2005 season and pitched only 10 games in the minors in 2006, split between the GCL Nationals and the New Orleans Zephyrs, without a decision. He moved to the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2007, getting into 47 games with a 2-9 record, 8 saves and a 4.70 ERA for the Norfolk Tides.

In the majors again briefly in 2008[edit]

Beltrán was called up to the majors with the Detroit Tigers on April 5, 2008. In his first stint with the team, he pitched 5 games in April with a 1-0 record, then he came back in August for another 6 outings. Overall, he was 1-0, 4.85, allowing 6 walks and 13 hits in 13 innings while striking out 9. In between his stays in Detroit, he pitched another 47 games with the Toledo Mud Hens, going 2-9, 4.70. In 2009, he moved to the Mexican League after failing to secure a job in the San Francisco Giants organization, going 4-6, 3.26 with 7 saves in 45 games between two teams. He was back in Mexico in 2010 and, after putting up a 2.08 ERA in 15 games for the Campeche Pirates, he tried his luck again in the United States, this time in the independent leagues, spending time with the Kansas City T-Bones and the York Revolution. He got another shot in organized baseball in 2011, but was rocked in 5 games for the Oklahoma City 89ers, giving up 16 hits in 6 1/3 innings, and received his walking papers from the Houston Astros on June 9th.

Related Sites[edit]