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Brian Fuentes

 

Brian Fuentes

Brian Fuentes
Fuentes with the Rockies in 2008
Pitcher
Born: (1975-08-09) August 9, 1975 (age 38)
Merced, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 2, 2001 for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
August 8, 2012 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Win–loss record 26–43
Earned run average 3.62
Strikeouts 639
Saves 204
Teams

Career highlights and awards

Brian Christopher Fuentes (/ˈfwɛntɨs/; born August 9, 1975) is a former American professional baseball pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. He bats and throws left-handed.

Early years

Fuentes was born in Merced, California, and attended high school at Merced High School in Merced, California. After graduating from high school, Fuentes attended Merced Community College.

Professional career

Seattle Mariners

Fuentes was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 25th round of the 1995 amateur draft. He spent one season for the Mariners appearing in ten games.

Colorado Rockies

On December 16, 2001, Fuentes was traded to the Colorado Rockies, along with José Paniagua and Denny Stark for Jeff Cirillo.[1] Through the first four years of his Major League career, Fuentes had a record of 8-8 with a 4.04 ERA, recording only four saves in 163 games. However, in 2005, Fuentes took over the closer role for the Rockies following the season-ending shoulder surgery of right-handed pitcher Chin-hui Tsao. Fuentes had a successful season and was named to his first career All-Star Game, but did not appear in the game. He became the first reliever and only the third pitcher overall to represent the Rockies, joining starting pitchers Mike Hampton (2001) and Shawn Chacón (2003). His 31 saves matched Dave Veres (1995) for the third highest single season total in franchise history, trailing only José Jiménez (41 in 2002) and Chacon (35 in 2004). In 2006, Fuentes earned 30 saves while posting a 3-4 record and a 3.44 ERA and was selected as an All-Star for the second time. Fuentes got his first career postseason win in Game 3 of the 2007 NLDS when the Rockies won the series against the Phillies in 3 games. The Rockies would eventually make it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history but lost to the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series in just 4 games.

In June 2007, after blowing four saves within an eight-day period, Fuentes was demoted from his role as Rockies closer, losing the job to Manny Corpas. Despite his struggles, he was named an NL All-Star later that week for the third straight year.

In April 2008, Fuentes regained his closer role, after Corpas had blown a number of save opportunities.[2]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On December 31, 2008, Fuentes agreed to a two-year deal with the Angels to fill in the position as closer after Francisco Rodríguez left for the Mets.[3] On April 8th, 2009, he recorded perhaps the most imfamous blown save in Angels history. Fuentes entered the game with the Angels leading the Oakland Athletics 4-3. However, he allowed 3 runs and the Angels lost the game 6-4, robbing rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart of his second MLB win in what was Adenhart's best, and eventually last, MLB start, throwing 6 shutout innings. Hours later, Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver in a fatal car crash. On July 5, 2009, Fuentes was elected to represent Anaheim in the 2009 All Star Game, at the time leading the majors in saves.

Brian led the major leagues in saves with 48 in 2009. His strikeout to walk ratio decreased from a 3.73 rate with the 2008 Colorado Rockies to a much more modest 1.92 in 2009. His difficulties led manager Mike Scoscia to call in young reliever Kevin Jepsen to close at certain times.[4][5]

Minnesota Twins

On August 27, 2010, Fuentes was traded to the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later.[6] While Fuentes had been a closer with the Angels, he was expected to be a set-up man with the Twins.[7] Nevertheless, Fuentes earned a save in his first outing with the Twins, a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.[8]

Oakland Athletics

On January 16, 2011, Fuentes reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Oakland Athletics.[9] The A's Manager Bob Geren demoted him from the closing role once again in May 2011, reportedly due to performance issues.[10] In the same general timeframe, Fuentes made public statements critical Geren's management, as did former A's reliever Huston Street.[10] Fuentes was designated for assignment on July 3, 2012 to clear a roster spot for returning pitcher Bartolo Colón. Fuentes was released from the Oakland Athletics on July 11, 2012.[11]

St. Louis Cardinals

Fuentes signed a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on July 14, 2012. On July 25, 2012, Fuentes's contract was purchased from AA-Springfield. He replaced Victor Marte, who was optioned to Triple-A Memphis that same day.[12]

On August 14, 2012, Fuentes was placed on the Cardinals' restricted list after requesting time off for undisclosed personal reasons. He did not return during the 2012 season.[13]

Retirement

On November 14, 2012 Fuentes told the Merced Sun-Star that he was retiring after twelve season in the Major Leagues.[14] Said Fuentes: "Ultimately, I was just having trouble with the time away from my family. I've been playing baseball for all of their lives, but I'd never been so far away as when I was in St. Louis."[15] Fuentes finished his career with an overall record of 26 wins, 43 losses and a career ERA of 3.62 with 204 saves. He was a four-time All-Star.[14]

Pitching style

Fuentes' pitching delivery is a unique and sometimes confusing one, especially for left-handed hitters. He pitches sidearm, which is difficult for hitters to pick up and keeps them off balance. Many batters, mainly left-handers, say the ball appears to be coming out of the sleeve of his jersey. His fastball usually clocks between 89–92 miles per hour.

Personal

Brian Fuentes has a wife (Barbara), his oldest son Giovanni, two fraternal twins, Benecio and Gabriella, and their youngest child Farrah.[16][17]

Fuentes currently makes his offseason home in Merced, California.[16] Fuentes comes from a Mexican American family.[18]

See also

Baseball portal

References

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Baseball Almanac - career statistics and analysis

Template:United States 2006 World Baseball Classic roster Template:AL saves champions

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