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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%: 19/10 | Average Draft Position: 169.69
TB

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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.


Grant balfour works perfect frame for eighth save


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/17/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour bounced back from his recent woes and nailed down his eighth save of the season in a 3-0 win over the Angels in Los Angeles.

Balfour struck out one and needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 frame for the save. He has eight saves in nine opportunities along with a 6.06 ERA on the season. He has a 12:14 K:BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings.

Manager: Grant Balfour is 'absolutely' still the closer


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/16/2014) Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters that Grant Balfour is "absolutely" still his closer, and that he would like to see him more confident moving forward, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

In a save situation, Balfour yielded a hit and two walks before being removed by Maddon. A home run followed as the Rays blew a 5-2 lead and lost to the Angels on Thursday. He has issued 14 walks in 15 2/3 innings. He is 7 for 8 in save opportunities with a 6.46 ERA this season.

Grant Balfour scuffling as Rays closer


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/16/2014) A two-year, $12 million free agent deal can buy a long leash, especially in regard to the frugal Rays, but one must wonder how long closer Grant Balfour can remain in that role if he continues to struggle.

Balfour has converted seven saves in nine opportunities, but he has allowed at least one baserunner in seven of his last eight appearances and has had two major meltdowns, including one Thursday night in which he yielded a hit and two walks before being removed by Joe Maddon. A home run followed as the Rays blew a 5-2 lead and lost to the Angels.

Control has been his major problem. Balfour has given up 14 walks in 15 2/3 innings.


Grant Balfour melts down, fails to record an out in loss


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5/16/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour technically didn't earn the blown save Thursday against the Angels, but the 6-5 loss was largely in his hands.

Balfour failed to record so much as one out  while pitching with a three-run lead in the ninth inning, allowing each of the first three baserunners he faced to reach. All three came around to score, with two of them coming on a walkoff home run by Mike Trout that won it for the Angels, 6-5.

Balfour has not been quite what the Rays were hoping for this season, with more walks (14) than strikeouts (11) in 15 1/3 innings of work. He has seven saves in eight opportunities along with a 6.46 ERA on the season. 


Grant Balfour earns seventh save Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/14/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour picked up his seventh save Wednesday, striking out one in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out his team's 2-0 win over the Mariners.

Balfour has been trying to rehabilitate his ERA after giving up five earned runs in an appearance in late April. He now has it down to 4.70 to go with an 11:12 K:BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings.


Grant Balfour gets second save Thursday


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5/1/2014) Rays closer Grant Balfour picked up his second save of the day as part of a 6-5 win in the second half of Thursday's doubleheader against the Red Sox.

Pitching with a one-run lead, Balfour certainly didn't make things easy for himself, allowing a leadoff double and then letting that runner advance to third with one out. He got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning, earning his sixth save of the season.

Balfour is 6 for 7 on save chances this season, despite and ugly 5.11 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.