Grant Balfour RP TB 9 Days

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."

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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 as the Rays fell to the Mariners. Balfour has a 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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 2 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 3 Months

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.

Grant Balfour RP TB 3 Months

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.