That's a compliment to the bullpen when a guy, who has 71 saves over nearly two seasons, is brought in to be the setup guy.
"You've got three guys out there who have been closers [Fuentes, Matt Capps, Jon Rauch]," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You have one guy that is throwing as good as any closer in the game, in Jesse Crain. You can do a lot of things with it.
"Yes, you can shorten games when you get a lot of depth in the bullpen. But what it does more than anything else is allow you not to kill a Jesse Crain. We saw that with the Rangers, how their big arms were able to shorten games. We should be able to shorten games as good as anybody."
It's a bullpen that has been restructured. Three players have been acquired over the past month: Capps, Fuentes and Randy Flores. The club needed to respond to the loss of left-hander Ron Mahay (rotator cuff surgery), left-hander Jose Mijares (meniscus surgery) and, of course, right-hander Joe Nathan (elbow surgery).
Gardenhire again has the luxury of two left-handers: Fuentes and Flores, who was picked up off waivers last Wednesday.
"It allows a little more maneuverability, as far as left-right matchups," Gardenhire said. "You don't want to get too crazy. Sometimes you can stop the flow of the game when you start changing pitching 8,000 times. I don't like to do that, but I like matchups.
"With Fuentes, he's not just a guy you have to send out there against one particular left-hander, then take him out of the game. He's already proven he can go through innings and get lefties and righties out. He makes it a little easier for me too, you don't have to worry about the left-right thing as much, which is huge.
Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Jeff Manship and Crain round out the corps.
"It looks good on paper," Fuentes added. "I know Capps is doing a tremendous job. Rauch was doing really well before he got there and Crain throws the heck out of the ball."