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Brian Fuentes

Brian Fuentes

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Brian Christopher Fuentes (icon; born August 9, 1975) is a Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 relief pitcher
Relief pitcher
A relief pitcher or reliever is a baseball or softball pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness, fatigue, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as being substituted by a pinch hitter...

 who currently plays for the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

. Previously, he played for the Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

, the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city in which the team started, Los Angeles...

, and the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

. He bats and throws left-handed
Left-handed
Left-handedness is the preference for the left hand over the right for everyday activities such as writing. In ancient times it was seen as a sign of the devil, and was abhorred in many cultures...

.

Early years


Fuentes was born in in Merced, California
Merced, California
Merced is a city in, and the county seat of, Merced County, California in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 78,958. Incorporated in 1889, Merced is a charter city that operates under a council-manager government...

, and attended high school at Merced High School
Merced High School
Merced High School is located in Merced, California as a part of the Merced Union High School District. The high school district added a second high school in 1960 which was built and named El Capitan High School. [Note: you need to find out the facts on the rest of this...

 in Merced, California
Merced, California
Merced is a city in, and the county seat of, Merced County, California in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 78,958. Incorporated in 1889, Merced is a charter city that operates under a council-manager government...

. After graduating from high school, Fuentes attended Merced Junior college.

Seattle Mariners


Fuentes was drafted by the Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

 in the 25th round of the 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
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

, along with Jose Paniagua
José Paniagua
José Luis Paniagua Sánchez is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who had his most prominent years with the Seattle Mariners organization. His most recent major league stint consisted of one game with the Chicago White Sox in . As a member of the Chicago White Sox, Paniagua came in with a 6...

 and Denny Stark
Denny Stark
Dennis James Stark is a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who is currently a free agent. He is an alumnus of the University of Toledo.-Seattle Mariners:...

 for Jeff Cirillo
Jeff Cirillo
Jeffrey Howard Cirillo is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. In a 14-season career, Cirillo was a .296 hitter with 112 home runs and 727 RBI in 1617 games. He was named an All-Star in and . He is the Brewers all-time career leader in batting average at .306...

. Through the first four years of his Major League career, Fuentes had a record of 8-8 with a 4.04 ERA
Earned run average
In baseball statistics, earned run average is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine...

, recording only four saves in 163 games. However, in , Fuentes took over the closer
Closer (baseball)
In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer , is a relief pitcher who specializes in closing out games, i.e., getting the final outs in a close game. Closers often appear when the score is close, and the role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. A small number of...

 role for the Rockies following the season-ending shoulder surgery of right-handed pitcher Chin-hui Tsao
Chin-hui Tsao
Chin-Hui Tsao is a former Major League Baseball and CPBL pitcher. He is the second major league player and the first major league pitcher of Republic of China nationality, and like the first, former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Chin-Feng Chen, he is a Taiwanese aborigine...

. Fuentes had a successful season and was named to his first career All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

, but did not appear in the game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

. He became the first reliever and only the third pitcher overall to represent the Rockies, joining starting pitchers Mike Hampton
Mike Hampton
Michael William Hampton is a left-handed former Major League Baseball pitcher. During his career, Hampton was well known for being one of the best hitting pitchers of his time, as well as for his large contract and frequent injuries.-Early career:Mike Hampton was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in...

  and Shawn Chacon
Shawn Chacón
Shawn Anthony Chacón is a Major League pitcher, currently a free agent. He last played in the Majors for the Houston Astros...

 . His 31 saves matched Dave Veres
Dave Veres
David Scott Veres is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1994-2003. On January 4, 2007, he signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies. However, he was released after appearing in just 5 games for their AAA affiliate in Colorado Springs...

  for the third highest single season total in franchise history, trailing only José Jiménez
Jose Jimenez (baseball player)
José Jiménez is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals.- No-hitter and Major League career :...

 (41 in ) and Chacon (35 in ). In , 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.

In June , 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 , Fuentes regained his closer role, after Corpas had blown a number of save opportunities.

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. On July 5, 2009, he was elected to represent Los Angeles 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
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

 to a much more modest 1.92 in 2009. His difficulties led manager Mike Scoscia to call in young reliever Kevin Jepsen
Kevin Jepsen
Kevin Martin Jepsen is an Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He is 6'3", 215 lbs...

 to close at certain times.

On October 17, 2009, during Game 2 of the 2009 American League Championship Series
2009 American League Championship Series
The American League Championship Series , the second round of the 2009 American League playoffs, was a best-of-seven game series matching the two winners of the 2009 American League Division Series...

 against the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

, Fuentes gave up a game-tying home run to Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez
Alexander Emmanuel "Alex" Rodriguez is an American professional baseball third baseman with the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. Known popularly by his nickname A-Rod, he previously played shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.Rodriguez is considered one of the best...

 in the bottom of the 11th inning. The Angels would eventually lose the game and the series.

Minnesota Twins


On August 27, 2010, Fuentes was traded to the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 for a player to be named later
Player to be named later
The concept of the "player to be named later" is most often associated with Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball trades.-Description:...

. While Fuentes had been a closer
Closer (baseball)
In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer , is a relief pitcher who specializes in closing out games, i.e., getting the final outs in a close game. Closers often appear when the score is close, and the role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. A small number of...

 with the Angels, he was expected to be a set-up man
Setup pitcher
In baseball, a setup pitcher is a relief pitcher who regularly pitches before the closer. They commonly pitch the 7th and/or 8th innings, with the closer pitching the 9th....

 with the Twins. Nevertheless, Fuentes earned a save in his first outing with the Twins, a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

.

Oakland Athletics


On January 16, 2011, Fuentes reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

.
The A's Manager Bob Geren demoted him from the closing role once again in May of 2011, reportedly due to performance issues.
In the same general timeframe, Fuentes made public statements critical Geren's management, as did former A's reliever Huston Street
Huston Street
Huston Lowell Street is an American baseball relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies. His father is former University of Texas quarterback James Street, and his brother Juston Street is currently a pitcher for the minor league Vancouver Canadians....

.

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
Jersey (clothing)
A jersey is an item of knitted clothing, traditionally in wool or cotton, with sleeves, worn as a pullover, as it does not open at the front, unlike a cardigan. It is usually close-fitting and machine knitted in contrast to a guernsey that is more often hand knit with a thicker yarn...

. 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 .

Fuentes currently makes his offseason home in Merced
Merced, California
Merced is a city in, and the county seat of, Merced County, California in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 78,958. Incorporated in 1889, Merced is a charter city that operates under a council-manager government...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

.

Fuentes comes from a Mexican
Mexican people
Mexican people refers to all persons from Mexico, a multiethnic country in North America, and/or who identify with the Mexican cultural and/or national identity....

-American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 family.

External links