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Balfour, Ynoa making up for lost time

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MESA, Ariz. -- The A's like what they are seeing from pitchers Grant Balfour and Michael Ynoa, both of whom began camp behind schedule.

Balfour, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery just two weeks ago, is seemingly just a couple of days away from throwing off the mound for the first time since his procedure. The A's closer made 35 throws from flat ground without any issues Wednesday and was scheduled Thursday to see his doctor, who will determine when the righty will throw his bullpen.

If Balfour remains on track with his rehab, the veteran reliever may very well be in a game in under two weeks' time.

Ynoa, meanwhile, has thrown two bullpens since his arrival in camp, which was delayed by two weeks while he recovered from the chicken pox.

The Dominican right-hander, signed by the A's at age 16 in 2008 to a then-record $4.25 million bonus, is slated to throw one more bullpen before he makes the transition to live batting practice, putting him closer to game action.

But Ynoa, enjoying his first big league camp following one too many injury-plagued seasons, is already impressing, even without a batter in front of him.

"The ball just screams out of his hand," manager Bob Melvin said. "You can see why the organization invested what they invested in him. It's unfortunate that he's been injured to this point, but just as a first look you can see why. There's a lot of talent there."

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