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50 Grant Balfour RP
Height/Weight: 6-2/200 | Birthdate: 12/30/1977 | Birthplace: Sydney, Australia | Bats/Throws: R/R | Team: Tampa Bay | College: No College | MLB Experience: 11 | Salary: $4,500,000 | Owned/Started%: 18/10 | Average Draft Position: 468.33
TB

Latest Updates

 

Rays manager believes Grant Balfour will be ready for opening day


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash believes pitcher Grant Balfour will be good to go by opening day, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Balfour is currently in Australia, tending to his sick father. Cash said Balfour was still working out, and expects the pitcher to be ready for the start of the regular season. The 37-year-old posted a 3.46 ERA over 62 1/3 innings last season. 


Rays manager Cash: Grant Balfour is 'motivated' to regain closer role


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that it's possible that Grant Balfour will return to the closer role to start the season. Balfour, who lost his ninth-inning gig to Jake McGee last June after a rough start to the season, will compete with Kevin Jepsen, Ernesto Frieri and Brad Boxberger for the role, per the Tampa Tribune.

"I don't see why not. I think so," Cash said. "Grant has done this for a long time. We've talked, he's going to bounce back. He's motivated, very motivated and he's a veteran that has been in that role. He's given up big hits and lost ball games and bounced back, maybe a little bit longer over the course of last year, but he finished strong in September, so he's motivated to come in and do good."

Balfour is currently away from the team to be with his ailing father in Australia, who has been battling cancer. He's expected to be gone five-to-seven days though he'll be able to throw while he's in another continent.


Rays Grant Balfour leaves camp to be with ailing father


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Rays reliever Grant Balfour took a brief leave of absence to be with his ailing father in Australia, who has been battling cancer, the Tampa Bay Times reports. With Jake McGee not set to return from elbow surgery at least until May, Balfour and Kevin Jepsen are expected to compete for the closer role to start the season. He's expected to be gone five-to-seven days though he'll be able to throw while he's in another continent.

Rays RHP Kevin Jepsen sees 'friendly competition' for closer role


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Rays right-hander Kevin Jepsen told reporters that it'll be a "friendly competition" between his bullpen-mates for the closer role. With Jake McGee not set to return from elbow surgery at least until May, Jepsen could be in competition with last year's closer, Grant Balfour.

"I think it's a friendly competition," Jepsen said. "I think it's always a good thing when you have competition amongst players going into the season. [It] keeps everybody hungry. A lot of times during Spring Training, you're just getting your work in. But anytime there's a chance to move up or be in a different role than you're used to, it brings out some good competition and only makes you better."


Rays RP Grant Balfour eyeing a return to closer's role in 2015


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2015) Rays reliever Grant Balfour is eyeing a return to the closer's role in 2015 after being removed from the job in 2014, mostly due to control problems. Balfour pitched exceptionally well down the stretch last season, posting 12 scoreless appearances in his final 13 outings.

"September was good," Balfour said, per MLB.com. "I sat down and worked on some things. I think that last five weeks or whatever it was, I felt like that was me and it showed with the numbers I put up. I was happy with the way it ended. You always want to finish strong, particularly how everything else went. I'm just looking forward to this year.

"Every year I look forward to going out and having a good year. Some years, it works out and some years, it doesn't. But I try to do everything I can to make it happen. Maybe last year things got to me a little bit when things weren't going well. I learn from new experiences. I've had some really good success in my career. And I can feed off that."

Balfour admitted he is pitching with a chip on his shoulder after enduring some struggles in 2014. The closer's role is up for grabs with Jake McGee expected to miss the start of the season due to an elbow injury.

"As long as everything is in shape and I feel good, then I believe in myself that I can go out there and do what I want to do," Balfour said. "As long as my body is allowing me each day to go out there and do what I want to do. Hey, I'm going to give everything I got and I totally believe in what I can do."


Rays pitcher Grant Balfour hoping to continue September success


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/6/2015) Rays relief pitcher Grant Balfour is hoping to pick up right where he left off in 2014. At the end of the season, Balfour went 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 appearances.

"Got back to my numbers I've had the last four or five years," Balfour said. "That builds confidence, too, when you're going out there getting people out all the time, too. So when you're not, it's tough. It's a tough game. It's not meant to be easy. Not everyone is doing it. There are a lot of people on the sidelines wishing they were doing it. Until you go out there and do it and go through it, it's not easy."

For the season, Balfour went 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 65 appearances for the season.

"I had a good run. I had some good times. It's easy when you're doing that. When you face a battle and face some tough times, it was nice to finish strong at the end of year and know that I came out on the good side of it."


Grant Balfour slams door shut on Blue Jays


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/12/2014) Rays pitcher Grant Balfour slammed the door shut on the Blue Jays Friday night for his 12 save of the season. Balfour struck out two and needed 12 pitches to close out a 1-0 victory. He has converted 12 of 15 save chances, with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP over 56 2/3 innings of work. It was his first save since July 1.

Grant Balfour earns win Monday vs. Red Sox


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) Rays pitcher Grant Balfour picked up a win Monday, giving up one hit in a scoreless 10th inning in his team's 4-3 victory over the Red Sox.

Balfour (2-6) has encountered some ups and downs this season, but he's put togther 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his last three outings while striking out four and allowing just one hit and one walk. He owns a 5.17 ERA and 48:40 K:BB ratio in 54 innings.


Grant Balfour surrenders winning run vs. former club


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/5/2014) Rays pitcher Grant Balfour (1-4) was pegged with the loss in extras against his former club, the A's, on Monday.

Balfour allowed a bases-loaded single to Derek Norris in the 10th inning to end the game. He permitted one run on two hits and two walks while striking out one over two-thirds of an inning. He owns a 4.93 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP over 42 innings of relief.

Grant Balfour picks up first win Saturday vs. Red Sox


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/26/2014) Rays pitcher Grant Balfour recorded his first win of the season Saturday, giving up one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out one in his team's 3-0 victory over the Red Sox.

With starter Jeremy Hellickson failing to complete five innings, one of the team's three middle relievers was in line to be awarded a win, and it fell to Balfour, the only one to work more than one inning. He owns a 5.17 and 37:29 K:BB ratio in 38 1/3 innings.


Kirby Yates enters for Grant Balfour, converts first career save


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/20/2014) Rays pitcher Kirby Yates came in for Grant Balfour and converted a two-out save Sunday afternoon against the Twins in Minnesota. It was his first career save.

After Balfour walked the first two batters in the ninth, Yates entered the game and forced Brian Dozier to ground out into a fielder's choice and got Eduardo Nunez to foul out to end the game. Yates owns a 2.35 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP over 15 1/3 innings of relief.

Grant Balfour: I might have been tipping my pitches


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/20/2014) Rays deposed closer Grant Balfour has acknowledged that his struggles this season could be explained in part by pitch-tipping.

Balfour owns a 5.45 ERA with 29 hits and 27 walks allowed in 36 1/3 innings.

"I have a few things, and it's been cleaned up," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "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."

Balfour pitched a hitless shutout inning against Minnesota on Thursday.


New pitcher enters Rays closer mix


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/3/2014) Two days after their primary setup man, Joel Peralta, blew a save and one day after their former closer, Grant Balfour, recorded his 11th, the Rays turned to Brad Boxberger in the ninth inning of a three-run game Wednesday.

All this coming off a weekend when Jake McGee appeared to lock up the role.

Frankly, if the Rays prefer not to confine their top lefty to the ninth inning, I'm not sure Boxberger isn't the best choice. He has closer stuff and, after struggling with his control in previous stints in the majors, appears to have harnessed it. In 31 appearances, he has a 2.87 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

What more could you want from a closer?

Of course, McGee's numbers are even better, and Joe Maddon clearly hasn't turned the page from Balfour yet. Juan Carlos Oviedo has gotten a save since the Rays went closer by committee and also has experience in the role. Something tells me that if the Rays haven't settled on any one pitcher yet, Boxberger's save Wednesday doesn't change that.

But you shouldn't dismiss him as just a fringe candidate either. He's a contender to fill the role full-time.


Grant Balfour walks two, picks up rare save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2014) Rays reliever Grant Balfour got his first save in more than three weeks Tuesday, as he closed out a 2-1 win over the Yankees.

Balfour, whose last save opportunity came June 11, didn't exactly make things easy with a one-run lead. He walked the first batter he faced, and then put the tying run into scoring position with a second walk with two outs. Fortunately, he induced an easy groundball to first to end the game.

Balfour has struggled with his control this season for the Rays, with 23 walks in 33 innings. However, prior to Tuesday's outing, he had just one walk in his previous 8 1/3 innings. He has a 5.18 ERA with 11 saves in 13 chances.  


Joe Maddon: We're still going with closer-by-committee


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/11/2014) Joe Maddon said Wednesday that he still plans on a closer-by-committee despite leaving deposed closer Grant Balfour in four a seven-out save to shut down St. Louis, the Tampa Bay Times has reported.

Balfour pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings in the rare Rays win.


Grant Balfour muddles closer situation with premier effort


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/11/2014) Is Grant Balfour still the closer for the Rays despite a recent claim otherwise by Joe Maddon? He certainly pitched like one - albeit for 2 1/3 innings - Wednesday night against St. Louis.

Balfour recorded the last seven outs consecutively, striking out one in the process. He had performed so poorly closing out games that Maddon had stated that he was removing him from that role in favor of a closer-by-committee approach.

The veteran right-hander had given up five earned runs in one inning in his last appearance as a scoreless tie turned into a lopsided defeat to Seattle.


A look at the Rays closer situation


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/9/2014) Though in the immediate aftermath of Grant Balfour's five-run implosion against the Mariners Sunday, manager Joe Maddon suggested he would stick with the right-hander as his closer, he relented Monday and announced he would go by committee beginning Monday.

His goal is for Balfour to get his confidence back, which means Balfour himself is probably part of that committee. Of course, to win back the job, he'll have to pitch better, and to pitch better, he'll have to stop walking so many batters. Easier said than done.

So even though Balfour appears to be the Rays reliever to own still, you shouldn't ignore the other possibilities in leagues where saves are scarce.

Jake McGee is the most exciting possibility with his 1.59 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 30 appearances, but since he's also the Rays' primary left-hander, they'll probably want to keep using him situationally rather than confine him to the ninth inning. Granted, the Athletics took that approach with Sean Doolittle at first before ultimately deciding it wasn't worth giving away games. My hope is the Rays will come to the same conclusion.

Otherwise, they're looking at Juan Carlos Oviedo or Joel Peralta. Peralta has been a fine setup man for years and has rebounded from a poor start, giving up just two earned runs in his last 14 appearances. Oviedo might be the better bet of the two, though. He spent three seasons as the Marlins closer back when he was known as Leo Nunez.


Rays going with closer by committee


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6/9/2014) Rays manager Joe Maddon said he's shifting to a closer-by-committee approach, reports the Tampa Tribune. Maddon wants Grant Balfour to get his confidence back after the closer was lit up for five runs in the ninth inning Sunday.

Balfour is 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA and nine saves in 11 chances.


Grant Balfour still Rays' closer 'as of today'


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6/9/2014) After Grant Balfour's ninth-inning collapse Sunday against the Mariners, Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked if he's sticking with Balfour as his closer. "He's our closer as of today," Maddon replied, per the Tampa Tribune.

Maddon followed up by saying if he were going to make a change, "I wouldn't tell you guys anyhow." Jake McGee and Juan Carlos Oviedo are obvious candidates to replace Balfour, who has a 6.46 ERA.


Grant Balfour lit up by Mariners


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6/8/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour entered a scoreless game in the top of the ninth Sunday and struck out the first two batters he faced. After that it was a disaster, as the next six batters reached safely.

Balfour yielded two triples, a double, a single, two walks and five earned runs in the nightmare inning. He's 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA and nine saves in 11 chances.


Grant Balfour collects rare one-out save vs. Boston


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/25/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour picked up a rare one-out save Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox.

Balfour entered the game for Josh Lueke, who allowed two runs in the ninth. He forced Dustin Pedroia to ground out to third for the final out of the game, securing an 8-5 victory. He is 9 for 11 in save opportunities with a 5.49 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 15:18 K:BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings.

Assessing possible Grant Balfour replacements


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5/23/2014) Grant Balfour blew his second save Thursday in exactly the way you'd expect. His control problems just aren't going away. With two more walks in that game he's up to 18 in 18 1/3 innings -- an unacceptable rate for any pitcher in any role.

Though the Rays haven't suggested it, they could be on the verge of making a change. Sure, Balfour has an excellent track record and is making more than the Rays are accustomed to paying any reliever, closer or otherwise. But considering they're 20-28 and already in last place, the threat of him costing them games may ultimately win out.

Most Fantasy owners will probably look to Jake McGee as the replacement, and he would certainly be a good fit in the role with a 1.33 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings. But because he throws left-handed, the Rays may not want to confine him to the ninth inning. They've been reluctant to have him close in the past.

So who else? Joel Peralta is the eighth-inning guy and has filled in as closer before, recording six saves in 2011, but he hasn't been especially reliable this year. A dark horse could be Juan Carlos Oviedo, who served as Marlins closer for three seasons under the name Leo Nunez. Making his return from Tommy John surgery this year, he has a 1.84 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 13 appearances.


Struggling Grant Balfour upset with booing


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2014) Rays embattled closer Grant Balfour criticized Tampa Bay fans for booing him after a blown save Thursday night. Balfour turned a 1-0 lead into a 1-1 tie against Oakland, increasing his walk total on the year to 18 in 18 1/3 innings with two more in the process.

"Fans can boo me and all that (stuff), but that's fine," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's not going to help me out, it's not going to help the team out if they sit there and do that. You see the fans behind you and everyone's behind you, the crowd, the whole nine yards, (stuff) is going to go right. You start pulling that (stuff), it's not a good vibe. The fans have got to be pulling for the team."

Balfour, who signed a two-year deal worth $12 million in the offseason, has blown just two saves in 10 chances, but owns a 5.89 ERA.


Grant Balfour blows save No. 2 vs. former team


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour's struggles with his control continued Thursday against the Athletics, as he blew his second save of the season.

Balfour walked two more batters and allowed a pair of hits in one inning of work, while working with a one-run lead. He allowed the Athletics to tie the game with one run allowed, sending it into overtime where the Rays would go on to win, 5-2.

Balfour remains 8 for 10 on save opportunities for the season, which isn't so bad. Unfortunately, his 5.89 ERA and 1.69 WHIP point to uglier results, largely due to 18 walks allowed in 18 1/3 innings of work.


Jekyll-Hyde Grant Balfour pleases manager Friday night


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/17/2014) The good side of wildly inconsistent Rays closer Grant Balfour showed up Friday night against the Angels - 24 hours after his bad side helped blow a three-run lead in the ninth.

Balfour retired the side in order with one strikeout for his eighth save in just 14 pitches. Not bad considering he entered having walked 14 (including the eighth and ninth hitters Thursday night) in 15 1/3 innings this season. 

"Loved it," Joe Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times. "So loved it. He came in, and that's what Grand looks like. Really, a live fastball. He got the (two) pop-ups and the punchout. That's who he is."

Who he's been this year is a right-hander that has given up 10 earned runs in three outings covering just 1 2/3 innings, but just one run in his other 13 appearances combined.

Balfour expressed disappointment Thursday night when Maddon yanked him out of the game after allowing the first three Angels to reach base. The move backfield when Brad Boxberger surrendered a walk-off homer to Mike Trout.