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Grant Balfour | Relief Pitcher

Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Age / DOB:  (36) / 12/30/1977
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 200
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
Contract: view contract details
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Grant Balfour notched his first since July 1 in Friday's win over the Blue Jays.
Jake McGee pitched the eighth inning and Brad Boxberger was apparently unavailable, so Balfour got the call to protect a 1-0 lead. He was pretty sharp, retiring the side in order while recording two strikeouts. Still, we're not expecting Joe Maddon to make a habit out of this down the stretch. Sep 12 - 10:09 PM

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Date:

Grant Balfour revealed Saturday that he believes he's been tipping his pitches.

Balfour has walked 27 over 36 1/3 innings this season, so it's not just pitch-tipping that's led to his issues. However, it could certainly be a factor in his struggles. "I have a few things, and it's been cleaned up," Balfour said. "You look at the numbers and you think maybe they knew what was coming at certain times. That can explain a few things here and there. I'm not saying I pitched the best, but it doesn't help when someone knows what's coming. It could be an issue. It's definitely cleaned up, so we'll find out."
Jul 20 - 12:14 PM

Grant Balfour got the call to close out the game Tuesday and responded with a scoreless inning to earn the save against the Yankees.

Balfour, who hadn't had a save chance since June 11, walked two batters in the inning before slamming the door. He's allowed just one run over his last 6 2/3 innings while striking out nine as he attempts to distance himself from his early struggles. It's worth noting that Jake McGee worked the eighth inning and Joel Peralta, who had been used in each of the last two games, got the night off. For now, the situation is still fluid enough that it's tough to trust any to get consistent save chances.
Jul 1 - 10:30 PM

Grant Balfour tossed 2 1/3 perfect innings to pick up his 10th save of the season in Wednesday's win over the Cardinals.

Making his first appearance since he was battered by the Mariners, which led to his demotion as the team's sole closer, Balfour rebounded nicely, retiring all seven batters he faced. He's now 10-for-12 in save opportunities with a 5.88 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and a 22/20 K/BB ratio in 26 innings.
Jun 11 - 10:47 PM

Rays manager Joe Maddon announced Monday morning that he will begin using a committee at closer.

Grant Balfour was slammed for five runs in the ninth inning of the Rays' loss to the Mariners on Sunday, pushing his ERA for the season to 6.46. The 36-year-old has had problems with both control and effectiveness, and Maddon told reporters before Monday's matinee with Seattle that he wants Balfour to get his confidence back in a less pressurized role. Jake McGee and Juan Carlos Oviedo are the best options for vultured saves in the meantime. McGee has been especially dominant this year.
Jun 9 - 11:42 AM

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Sunday that he's sticking with Grant Balfour at closer "as of today."

"Even if I was going to change anything, I wouldn't tell you guys anyhow," Maddon said to the media after watching Balfour serve up five earned runs in the top of the ninth Sunday as the Rays fell to the Mariners. Balfour has a highly-disappointing 6.46 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, and 21/20 K/BB ratio in 23 2/3 total innings this season. Jake McGee and Juan Carlos Oviedo should both be stashed in mixed fantasy leagues.
Jun 9 - 8:47 AM

Grant Balfour took his second blown save after giving up a run in the ninth Thursday against the A's.

Balfour managed to preserve the tie from there, but it was another poor outing from a guy with a 5.89 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. The Rays will have to weigh replacing him in the ninth, likely with either Joel Peralta (a potentially less expensive option) or Jake McGee (clearly their best reliever). We'd lean towards Peralta getting the nod, but the Rays may wait and give Balfour one more chance.
May 22 - 8:16 PM

Grant Balfour rebounded from Thursday's outing to pitch a scoreless ninth with a 3-0 lead Friday against the Angels.

Balfour was upset about being pulled from a save chance on Friday, especially after Brad Boxberger gave up a walkoff homer, but he's still the closer and he was right back on the mound tonight for an easy 14-pitch inning. Fortunately, he was able to retire the 8-9-1 portion of the Angels lineup and leave Mike Trout waiting on deck in the end.
May 17 - 1:49 AM

Rays manager Joe Maddon gave Grant Balfour a vote of confidence on Friday, saying that the veteran right-hander was "absolutely" still his closer.

Maddon said that he wants to see Balfour more confident in the role. He suffered a horrendous blown save against the Angels on Saturday, allowing the only three base runners he faced to reach base before being yanked. While it's nice to have the support of his manager, another blown save chance could mean the end.
May 16 - 8:27 PM

Grant Balfour failed to record an out, allowing three base runners who all came around to score, in an ugly blown save Thursday against the Angels.

Joe Maddon's trigger finger couldn't have been much quicker with the veteran, and he might get second-guessed for it. Balfour entered the ninth with a 5-2 lead. He walked the first two batters he faced, and then gave up an RBI single. That was enough for Maddon, who called upon a cold Brad Boxberger to face Mike Trout. Boxberger served up the home run that seemed destined to happen, ending the game. Balfour, who signed a two-year, $12 million free agent contract with Tampa Bay this offseason, is 7-for-9 in save chances with a 6.46 ERA. Two awful outings (five runs in 2/3 of an inning in late April was the other) will take a while to work off.
May 16 - 2:12 AM

Grant Balfour pitched an uneventful ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season against the Mariners on Wednesday.

Balfour struck out one while not allowing a baserunner in the inning. Balfour has converted three straight save opportunities since getting lit up by the White Sox on April 25. The right-hander is 7-for-8 in save chances, and he owns a 4.70 ERA -- inflated by allowing five runs in 2/3 of an inning in said thrashing -- and 1.43 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings this year.
May 14 - 8:03 PM

Grant Balfour pitched a pair of scoreless innings to save both ends of Tampa Bay's doubleheader on Thursday.

Balfour got through the first in 14 pitches, but he needed 24 in the nightcap. It's a good bet that he'll get Friday off now. Jake McGee also pitched in both games, so he could be unavailable, too. If a save opportunity arises, it will probably go to Joel Peralta.
May 1 - 11:15 PM

Grant Balfour blew a save and took the loss Friday against the White Sox after giving up five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Balfour entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-run lead, but he loaded the bases before getting Adam Eaton to ground into a fielder's choice to drive in one run. He then loaded the bases again before Jose Abreu took him deep for a walk-off grand slam. Balfour issued three free passes in the inning and has now walked nine batters in just 10 1/3 innings on the year. He's also not missing as many bats as usual. Seven out of his nine appearances have been scoreless this season, but it's something to keep an eye on.
Apr 26 - 1:10 AM

Grant Balfour secured his fourth save of the season Saturday with a scoreless ninth inning against the Reds.

Balfour walked three batters in a shaky appearance Friday night, but he bounced back Saturday. While he issued a one-out to Joey Votto, he was able to get Brandon Phillips to ground into a double play to end the game.
Apr 12 - 3:54 PM

Grant Balfour struggled with his command on Friday, but managed to record the final two outs against the Reds to secure his third save of the season.

David Price started the ninth inning in a bid for a shutout, but after a Joey Votto solo blast, Balfour was summoned to finish the evening. After getting Ryan Ludwick on strikes, he made things interesting by walking Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco, before punching out Brayan Pena to end the ballgame.
Apr 11 - 10:38 PM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Ryan Hanigan
2Curt Casali
3Justin O'Conner
4Bobby Wilson
1B1James Loney
2B1Ben Zobrist
2Logan Forsythe
3Ryan Brett
4Eugenio Velez
SS1Yunel Escobar
2Nick Franklin
3B1Evan Longoria
LF1Kevin Kiermaier
2Corey Brown
CF1Desmond Jennings
2Mikie Mahtook
RF1Wil Myers
2Brandon Guyer
DH1David DeJesus
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Alex Cobb
2Matt Moore
3Chris Archer
4Jake Odorizzi
5Drew Smyly
6Alex Colome
7Nate Karns
8Matt Andriese
9Grayson Garvin
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Jake McGee
2Ernesto Frieri
3Brad Boxberger
4Grant Balfour
5Kevin Jepsen
6Jeff Beliveau
7Steve Geltz
8Brandon Gomes
9C.J. Riefenhauser
10Jose Dominguez