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8/9/1975 (41 y, 7 m, 19 d)
1995 June Amateur Draft - Round: 25, Pick: 3, Overall: 678, Team: Seattle Mariners
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Fuentes (personal) does not plan on returning to the Cardinals this season, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. (8/15/2012)
Bullpen Report: June 10th, 2012
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
Sasquatch: Lefty Closers
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
FanGraphs Audio: In the Clubhouse w/ Brian Fuentes
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
2012 Organizational Rankings: #28 – Oakland
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
Closer Handedness Splits
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
After giving up runs in both his second and third appearances of the year, Fuentes settled down and went on an extended run of solid pitching. In his next 34 games, he posted 28 saves, a 1.93 ERA and a 3.4 K/BB ratio. But in his next 19 outings, Fuentes had an 8.78 ERA, a 0.50 K/BB ratio and allowed four homers in 13.1 innings. That stretch went from late-July to mid-September and called into question his ability to close in the playoffs. But Fuentes ended the year with saves in his final seven outings. He allowed just one run in five post-season games, but blew the save in Game Two of the ALCS. For the season, batters found it easier to hit against the Angels’ closer, as he allowed a Contact% of 80.3%, easily the highest mark of his career. Fuentes’ swinging-strike percentage fell from 12.2% to 8.2% and his K/9 dropped to 7.53, over four fewer strikeouts from 2008.
The Year Ahead:
The top strikeout pitchers all have good swinging-strike rates but even in the first half, Fuentes was not getting as many swinging strikes (9%) as in the past. His fastball velocity was down from a year ago, yet Fuentes was still getting good results with his heater. However, all of his offspeed offerings were below-average pitches. Especially troubling was his slider, which lost vertical movement and went from a plus pitch (2.06 wSL/C) to a negative offering (-0.42). It all calls into question his ability to even match 2009’s disappointing strikeout numbers. A 3.93 ERA for a closer is not good and Fuentes’ FIP (4.42) was worse. The one thing Fuentes does have going for him is manager Mike Scioscia, who talked about but did not remove him from the closer’s spot. Fuentes remains a good candidate to post 35+ saves in 2010. (Brian Joura)
After a six years of being the closer with both the Rockies and the Angels, Fuentes was sent to the Twins to help solidify their bullpen for the playoffs. In the nine appearances he had with the Twins, he did not allow a single run. Fuentes recently landed in Oakland and should be helped by his new home park. When he was with the Rockies, Fuentes could be counted on for a K/9 rate of more than 10.00. His strikeout rates the past two seasons were at 7.53 and 8.81 K/9. His ERA projects to be just under 4.00 for 2011. This value is not at an elite-closer level. Fuentes' greatest previous value was his closer status and the saves he accumulated. He'll lose value in 2011 as he's expected to set up A's incumbent closer Andrew Bailey... along with another free-agent signee, Grant Balfour. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Fuentes' value takes a huge hit as he lands in Oakland, possibly slotting in behind both Andrew Bailey and Grant Balfour.
Signed to a decidedly un-Moneyball-like two-year, $10.5 million deal last winter, Fuentes was barely above replacement level in 2011. The lefty virtually scrapped his breaking ball and threw more fastballs than usual (76 percent), which didn’t improve his control much but led to the lowest strikeout rate (6.5 per nine innings) of his career. That’s a far cry from his career average of 9.5 K/9. Fuentes closed for the A’s while Andrew Bailey nursed a forearm injury and had 12 saves, but he split hold chances with Grant Balfour down the stretch and didn’t perform as well as his Aussie teammate overall (4.16 FIP for Fuentes, 3.77 for Balfour). In addition to Balfour, Fuentes might have to compete with power arms like Fautino De Los Santos and Joey Devine for the open closer role. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
The 36-year-old former Rockies stopper isn’t closer-worthy anymore – he’s really just a middle reliever with more name recognition. Chances are he gets passed up in the pecking order in 2012.
Brian Fuentes retired after the 2012 season to spend more time with his family. If he should come back, he could make for an interesting late-season waiver pickup in leagues that count holds. (Zach Sanders)
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Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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