Ex-Giant Beltran proving his worth to Cardinals

For those who think Carlos Beltran is the Band-Aid to their offensive woes, they should have bought the insurance package, too.

Just ask the Giants.

While Beltran put up good numbers after coming over to San Francisco in a July 28, 2011, trade with the New York Mets for prized pitching prospect Zach Wheeler, he also missed time with nagging injuries that kept the Giants from returning to the playoffs following their 2010 World Series championship.

The switch-hitting outfielder, who was a disappointment with the Mets after signing a seven-year, $119 million contract, jumped to the St. Louis Cardinals this season with a two-year, $26 million deal as the 2011 World Series champs tried to fill the void left by Albert Pujols.

While Beltran hasn’t had a spectacular average (.269), he has been a force in the middle of the Cardinals’ lineup with 32 homers and 97 RBIs. He also stole 13 bases despite a history of knee problems.

Which means the seven-time All-Star will be the target of boo-birds by Giants fans when the Cardinals visit AT&T Park for Game 1 of the NL Championship Series today.

“It’s going to be a good series,” Beltran told MLB.com. “They have a good pitching staff over there, there’s no doubt about that. And they were able to do something incredible, taking three out of three in Cincinnati. They’re a real good team. They’re home. It’s going to be fun.”

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