Q&A with Twins Reliever Brian Fuentes


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Although he’s been sidelined with some back issues since then, Brian Fuentes’ Twins debut on August 28 in Seattle was a memorable one:

With two outs, Chone Figgins on first and the Twins clinging to a 1-0 lead, Fuentes entered the game to face the Mariners leading homerun hitter, lefty Russell Branyan. An 8 2/3 innings two-hit gem by Nick Blackburn was in jeopardy. Fuentes, with 186 major league saves under his belt, calmly stepped onto the mound and struck out Branyan in four pitches, making the slugger look foolish in the process.

I met up with Fuentes near his new locker at Target Field last week and discussed the circumstances surrounding his arrival in Minnesota and more:

DZ: Being one of the newer guys on the team, can you just talk about your impressions so far?

FUENTES: It’s been short so far, but it’s been a comfortable clubhouse. Obviously, it’s a good team talent wise - good pitching, good hitting, good defense. Probably the reason they are in first place.

DZ: You were here about two weeks ago with the Angels, did you ever think you’d be back here with the Twins (in such a short time)?

FUENTES: No, no - it never crossed my mind when I came here.

DZ: What are your impressions of the stadium?

FUENTES: It’s gorgeous. I think they did a top notch job on the - everything. It’s laid out well for the fans, for the players it’s comfortable. This clubhouse is nice, probably nicer than anything else I’ve seen.

DZ: Where were you when you found out you were traded to the Twins?

FUENTES: I was in the clubhouse and the manager (Mike Scioscia) called me in and I figured that is what it was considering we really don’t talk much unless I am coming into the game.

DZ: Were you surprised at all?

FUENTES: Yeah and no. I was surprised I was coming to Minnesota, (but) I wasn’t really that surprised I was out on waivers. Things weren’t - I wasn’t pitching that much in Anaheim so I figured they might try to move me.

DZ: Did you talk to Torii Hunter about the Twins organization at all before you came over?

FUENTES: Yeah, he talked about - he still talks about Minnesota. He had a long career - grew up with these guys and had a really nice career here - so he was a little bit jealous.

DZ: Could you take me through (August 28) a little bit - that must have been a pretty crazy day for you?

FUENTES: Yeah, yeah it was an early game. I thought it was a 7:00 game when I first heard. I found out, caught an early flight that morning, got there about an hour or two before the game, suited up and actually got to come in there and get a save that night, so that was pretty cool.

DZ: When you get to pitch that quickly, does that help make you feel part of the team faster, get acclimated?

FUENTES: It was nice to just get in there and pitch. I always enjoy pitching so - as far as acclimating myself to the team, as soon as I walked in, the guys made me feel right at home.

DZ: Getting traded does a lot to your personal life - you have kids starting school - how do you deal with all of that?

FUENTES: It’s my first time, so I am learning as I go. My wife has been awesome, she has really taken a lot of that burden off of me. She runs the house when I am not there and a lot of times when I am there.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

September 5: Randy Flores
August 23: Matt Capps
August 19: Brian Duensing
July 29: Jesse Crain
July 23: Ron Mahay
July 21: Danny Valencia
July 11: Michael Cuddyer
July 8: Jason Repko
July 5: Nick Punto
June 12: Jason Kubel
June 9: Drew Butera
May 11: Denard Span
April 25: Justin Morneau
April 22: Alex Burnett
April 21: Mike Redmond
April 16: J.J. Hardy

One Response to “Q&A with Twins Reliever Brian Fuentes”

  1. Q&A with Twins Starter Nick Blackburn » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

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    […] 7: Brian Fuentes September 5: Randy Flores August 23: Matt Capps August 19: Brian Duensing July 29: Jesse Crain July […]

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