Grant Balfour is a bullpen pitcher from Australia, known for using profanity when he pitches.
The Rays acquired Balfour in July 2007 from the Brewers in a trade that dealt Seth McClung to the Brewers. Balfour failed to make the opening roster in 2008 but after a successful month in Durham and Troy Percival being placed on the disabled list (DL), the Rays sent Ben Zobrist to Durham in exchange for Balfour. Balfour became the new closer until Percival returned from the DL. In mid-July 2008, Balfour had a 2-1 record with a 1.54 ERA. Balfour continued to do well throughout the rest of the reason and had a low ERA throughout the year. In Game 4 against the Chicago White Sox, Balfour struck out Ken Griffey Jr. for the final out of the series, leading to the Rays’ first playoff series win ever. In 2009, he was one of the most consistent bullpen pitchers.
Due to the Rays low payroll, Balfour was forced to find a job elsewhere. He signed a two-year, *$8.1 million contract with the Oakland Athletics. As of April 21st, Balfour’s 2011 record is 1-1 and his ERA is 4.26 in 6 innings pitch. The Athletics are in 3rd place in the A,L. West with a record of 9-9.
The next few blogs will focus on the most popular Rays players on the 2008 roster and where they are now. Here is the 2008 roster: