Cincinnati Reds in Review: SP Jeff Francis


We gave you the Cincinnati Reds premier Canadian earlier this morning and now you get their next best Canadian—Jeff Francis!

Jeff Francis – Starting Pitcher


Yes, Jeff Francis actually pitched for the Reds this year. If you don’t remember, it’s more than likely because he only made one start for them this year. And despite appearing in games for three different teams (the Oakland A’s, the New York Yankees and the Reds), it would be his only start on the season.

Francis was the victim of the Reds’ miserable offense just like the rest of the staff was, not pitching terribly in his lone start on the year. Tossing five innings of five-hit, three-run ball, Francis faced an offense that was nearly inept as Cincinnati’s in 2014 in the San Diego Padres.

Serving up a two-run home run to back-up catcher Rene Rivera, Francis would go behind 2-1 and never recapture the lead. In fact, if it were not for Billy Hamilton walking to lead off the game and then stealing both second and third, the Reds may never have even gotten on the board.

Hop back into the time machine and just over seven years ago, Jeff Francis was starting Game 1 of the 2007 World Series for the Colorado Rockies. The team was so tremendously popular they developed the moniker, “Rock-tober,” (which is an all-time classic) before ultimately falling to the Boston Red Sox for their second World Championship in four seasons.

Francis was a first-round pick by those very same Rockies in 2002. He has had one of the more fascinating 21st Century Major League Baseball careers. Completely doomed by the ballpark he has pitched in (Coors Field, a notorious hitters paradise due to the thin Rocky Mountain air), it’s fair to wonder how Francis would have performed had he pitched the majority of his career in just a neutral yard, let alone a pitcher’s park.

Francis’s Stat Line:


0-1, 5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 4 K’s, 1.00 WHIP, .250 OAV

Top Jeff Francis Moment:


Considering it was his only Major League start of the season, it’s fair to say that Francis’ top moment was pitching for the Reds back on May 15.

In actuality, his top moment was probably getting out of the minor leagues and back to the bigs. He would go on to pitch for a club with legitimate World Series aspirations (the Oakland A’s) and the game’s most historic franchise (the New York Yankees).

Plus, the last thing Francis needed was to pitch in a hitter’s ballpark.

Low-Point of the Season for Jeff Francis:


Considering he made one whopping appearance for the Reds the entire year, his best moment and worst moment are one in the same.

Towards the end of the year as the Reds attempted to combat the ridiculous injury rash that would not go away, they more than likely could have used Francis to eat some innings down the stretch. (Hell, they pitched Dylan Axelrod—I’d be willing to bet Francis would have gotten a look before him.)

Final Grade: D

Francis will turn 34 years old this offseason. A soldier with no home, who knows if Francis and the Reds will ever cross paths once again, but the former first-round pick and World Series Game 1 starter will always be able to say he was a member of baseball’s oldest, and original, franchise.