Advertisement

 TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -Brian Fuentes would rather be a $6.5 million closer than a $5 million setup man.
He's not going to gripe about not getting his wishes, though.
``I'm happy to have a job. There's a lot of guys right now that don't have jobs,'' said the three-time All-Star, who lost his role as Colorado's closer last summer but rebounded as an eighth-inning specialist to help lead the Rockies to their first NL pennant.
The left-hander, who made $3,535,000 last season, lost his arbitration case on Friday. He said it was difficult sitting in on the hearing but that he wasn't going to let that affect him on the mound.
``I'm not worried about what was said. It's time to move on. I'm looking forward to getting a ball in my hand,'' Fuentes said Sunday. ``I'm not a businessman. I'm not a lawyer. I'm a ballplayer.''
Fuentes arrived at camp day late because of the hearing in Florida.
am right now,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``And I told him we're going to go in this season as we finished up last season.''
That means serving as Manny Corpas' setup man.
Fuentes said he'll approach things the same way no matter which inning is his.
``My job is to come in and get guys out,'' he said. ``So, whatever role they plan on using me in is totally up to them. I'm their pawn, so let me know what you want me to do and I'll do it.''
The Rockies remain high on Fuentes; it's just that Corpas saved 19 of 20 games and posted the lowest relief ERA (2.08) in club history after taking over as closer in July. Then, he saved five of six games in the postseason with a 0.87 ERA.
Fuentes, who posted a 3.08 ERA and saved 20 games himself, was lights-out in August and September.
``We wouldn't have had the success we had down the stretch if he wasn't able to do the job he was able to do in setting up Manny,'' Hurdle said. ``And you never know what the future holds and he's going to prepare himself to win ballgames. He's in a good place.''
But for how long? Fuentes wants to close again and he's eligible for free agency after this season.
``Every year the (trade) deadline comes up, my name's mentioned, so I think my resume's been going out for a while,'' said Fuentes, owner of the second-longest tenure with the Rockies, trailing only slugger Todd Helton. ``It doesn't change anything. My approach is the same.''
Hurdle said he doesn't plan to use Fuentes exclusively against left-handers, although the signing of free agent right-hander Luis Vizcaino could change the dynamics of the bullpen.
Fuentes' 81 saves since 2005 rank second to Billy Wagner (112) among left-handed major league relievers. His funky, quasi-sidearm delivery that he equates to throwing a Frisbee or skipping a rock on a pond has helped him post a career ratio of 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
As he prepared for a new season, Fuentes defended his 2007 season, which was marred by one really bad week in which hew blew four straight saves during a 1-9 trip that had the Rockies playing catch-up the rest of the way.
``I think I was just in a funk. Hitters go into slumps and pitchers go into funks. It kind of hit me at once,'' Fuentes said. ``Usually it's spread out over a whole season and mine hit me all at one time. I had a great first half before that and I had a really strong second half after that, so there wasn't too many bad days.''
Just enough to cost him his job as closer last year and a heftier pay raise this season.
Advertisement

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Cards seek to build momentum against Reds Jhonny Peralta’s had a tough time since returning from the disabled list on June 7. Perhaps, though, he’s rediscovering that familiar power stroke when it matters...
Thumbnail Yanks keeping slim hopes alive vs. Red Sox Clay Buchholz proved his playoff bona fides in 2013. In order for the Red Sox to inflict some real damage this October, the righty may have to be equally...
Thumbnail Reds threatening Cardinals' playoff prospects The Cardinals have laid some absolutely clunkers at Busch Stadium this season. Nothing, however, compares to the embarrassment...
Thumbnail Indians vs. Tigers Prediction With the AL Central locked up, will the Cleveland Indians have a letdown tonight against the desperate Detroit Tigers at 7:10PM...
Thumbnail Blue Jays need bounce-back effort vs. O's Toronto’s bid to lock down the American League’s first wild-card spot hit a bit of a snag yesterday. Will John Gibbons’ group band together in time for...
More inMLB Articles  
Advertisement

MLB Team Pages