Brian Fuentes Rips Bob Geren for Mismanaging Bullpen

Relief pitchers are sort of like NFL kickers. They are their own breed of people and need things to be structured in a certain way. Ask a kicker to kick more 40-yard field goals in practice than he normally does and he’ll probably have a nervous breakdown. Ask a relief pitcher to help the team out in the 7th inning when he has been a closer most of his career and he just might have a stroke if his name is Brian Fuentes.

Fuentes has never really been a phenomenal reliever, but he’s had some solid years as a closer.  On Sunday, A’s manager Bob Geren brought Fuentes into a tied extra inning game on the road.  The move was a bit unordinary for a closer on the road, but certainly not unheard of.  Fuentes was very vocal in disagreeing with the move, but it wasn’t until Geren chose to use him in the seventh inning on Monday that the gasket really blew.

“I thought the games in San Francisco were some unorthodox managing, but I thought it was maybe the National League, maybe that had something to do with it,” Fuentes told The Oakland Tribune. “But tonight was pretty unbelievable.”

“There’s just a lack of communication. I don’t think anybody really knows which direction he’s headed.”

Fuentes also added that he has “zero” communication with Geren and thinks the bullpen is being handled “pretty poorly.”  Somebody call the whambulance.  For a pitcher with a 1-7 record and a 5.06 ERA, Fuentes thinks pretty highly of himself.  As a professional reliever being paid $5 million this season, you would think Fuentes would be able to just go out and do what’s asked of him.  Instead, he needs to know exactly what inning he’ll be pitching before the game.  Geren may be mismanaging his bullpen, but I certainly wouldn’t stand for being blasted like that because a guy can’t handle what’s asked of him.  Maybe his arm is fatigued and could use some rest.

UPDATE: Fuentes isn’t alone in his complaints about Geren.

Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I go both ways on this one. As a former pitcher who was used to starting, having to relieve in games was always tough because you never know when you’re coming in. Still, like you said, Fuentes job is to pitch and pitch well. I do think some of this falls on Geren; he needs to communicate with his relievers what their roles are. And if their roles are to pitch whenever Geren asks, regardless of situation, they need to be prepared for that.

  • Anonymous

    Brian Fuentes is a “lucky” picther with a below average fastball,his poor location basically cost the Angels a chance of  tying the ALCS in 2009,because he could’nt hit his his spots and A-rod took him deep to the opposite field.Brian he might be vaulable as a lead grill man at Mc Donalds,perhaps he needs to sit down, have breakfast,read the sports section,review his stats and pour himself a nice tall glass of “shut up” juice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Burkett/100001859643683 Tom Burkett

    I personnaly agree, a “relief” pitcher should be able to relieve at anytime. That is why there is a bullpen and they are not napping in the club house. At the same time Garen is a bumbling idiot,the game was tied in the 8th 1-1 not 5-5 and he yanks Outman because he reached 100 pitches. At the very least he should go to the starter see how he feels and possibly send him out there to win or lose. I agree with Rosenthal it is time for Geren to go before the season is a wash. And by the way Beane letting Ron Washington get away is a travesty.