Frank Jesus Mata Salcedo
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 235 lb.
- High School U.E. Sabana de Uchire
- Debut May 26, 2010
- Final Game July 18, 2010
- Born March 11, 1984 in Barcelona, Anzoategui Venezuela
Frank Mata played briefly in the majors in 2010.
Mata was signed by scout Jose Leon for the Minnesota Twins in May 2002. Pitching for Cagua that year, he was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA while leading the Venezuelan Summer League with 22 appearances. He allowed only 24 hits in 40 innings, including no home runs.
In 2003, he went 5-2 with 7 saves and a 3.47 ERA for Tronconero 1, with 51 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. He was second in the VSL with 26 games pitched. Coming stateside with the 2004 Elizabethton Twins, he was 2-2 with 13 saves and a 3.73 ERA in 26 games, fanning 39 in 31 1/3 innings while having a WHIP under 1. He led the Appalachian League in games pitched and tied Enyelbert Soto for the save lead. Baseball America rated him the Appy's #15 prospect. He missed all of 2005, though, after Tommy John surgery.
Returning to the diamond in 2006, Frank was 5-3 with five saves and a 4.22 ERA for the Beloit Snappers, with 10 wild pitches in 53 1/3 innings. Mata was excellent with the 2007 Fort Myers Miracle (2-0, Sv, 1.33 in 13 G), earning a promotion to the New Britain Rock Cats, where he struggled (0-4, 3 Sv, 5.36 in 32 G).
In 2008, the Venezuelan right-hander again started off with Fort Myers and again did well (1-0, 1.93 in 11 G) before bombing with New Britain (1-1, Sv, 7.20 in 23 G). He spent all of 2009 with New Britain, solving AA finally, with a 2-5 record, 3 saves and a 3.78 ERA in 53 outings. He was 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA that winter for the Tigres de Aragua.
The Baltimore Orioles signed Mata as a minor league free agent prior to the 2010 campaign. He began the year excellently with the Norfolk Tides (2-1, 8 Sv, 1.86, 14 H in 19 1/3 innings), earning a promotion to the big leagues when Koji Uehara and Alfredo Simon landed on the disabled list.
In his major league debut on May 26, 2010, Mata relieved Brian Matusz in the 6th inning with two on, none out and a 6-1 deficit against the Oakland A's. He got Jake Fox on a fly, then Mark Ellis flew into a double play to escape the jam. In the 7th, he retired Cliff Pennington. Rajai Davis singled and stole second, then Daric Barton walked. Mata was replaced on the mound by Matt Albers. In all he made 15 appearances in the Show, with no decisions and a 7.79 ERA in 17 1/3 innings. In 18 games that winter for Aragua, he was 0-1 with a 5.66 ERA.
Signing with the Florida Marlins for 2011, he was 1-6 with two saves and a 5.24 ERA for the New Orleans Zephyrs then was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 9 games for the 2011-2012 Tigres. He split 20912 between the Mexican League's Piratas de Campeche (1-1, 18 Sv, 3.63 in 35 G) and Olmecas de Tabasco (0-1, Sv, 12.27 in 3 G). He was 8th in the league in saves. That winter, he allowed one run in 2 1/3 IP for Aragua before they let him go. He was picked up by the Tiburones de La Guaira and was 0-2 with a 8.25 ERA in 12 outings for them. He did not play summer ball in 2013, then was 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in 10 games for the Cardenales de Lara in the winter. After getting lit up for 9 hits, 9 runs (8 earned) and 7 walks in 5 1/3 IP for the Bravos de Margarita in the winter of 2014-2015, he did not pitch in Venezuela the next couple winters.
He started one game for the Venezuelan national team in the 2017 Bolivarian Games against host Colombia (which would win Gold). He blanked them for five innings before allowing a run in the 6th to lose a duel with Juan Escorcia; Leovildo Pargas took over in the 7th. Mata had allowed 4 hits and 4 walks while fanning three.
Mata became the second former major leaguer to play in the French Division I, when he signed with the Templiers de Sénart for 2018. He joined fellow Venezuelan Harvey García; Jeff Zimmerman had also pitched in France and MLB, but his French stint had come before he made the majors. Mata was 4-5 with a 2.08 ERA for the Templiers, finishing 5th in the league in ERA, 5th in opponent average (.195, between Robert Palencia and Antoine Rault), 7th in strikeouts, tied for 5th in wins (with Conor Lourey and Matthieu Brelle-Andrade) and tied for 3rd in losses (with García and Nicolas Antoine).
Sources include 2010 Orioles Media Guide, Pelota Binaria, Colombian Baseball Federation, 2018 French Division I
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