{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Balfour expected to make debut on Monday

|
Balfour expected to make debut on Monday play video for Balfour expected to make debut on Monday

PHOENIX -- Barring any unforeseen setbacks, A's closer Grant Balfour will make his Cactus League debut on Monday.

The veteran right-hander made this known just minutes after throwing 24 pitches to hitters on Friday, marking the second time he had done so since undergoing minor knee surgery four weeks ago.

Balfour followed up the session with a round of running drills, and he said his knee responded to both very well. In fact, "my knee's just kind of a thing of the past now," he said.

"Obviously I have to take care of it," Balfour continued, "but I really haven't been thinking about it. I'm just out there worried about hitting my spots with my fastball and throwing that breaking ball for a strike."

Balfour made use of all of his pitches on Friday, never once inducing a hard-hit ball. That didn't mean he was happy with all of them, though, as his mound manners suggested. More than once the fiery right-hander shared an expletive when a pitch strayed from his target, just as he would during the regular season.

"I treat it like any game and try to get myself fired up," he said. "I'm sure they're not taking at-bats like they would in a game, but for the most part the ball's coming out of my hand good, and I felt like I was getting late swings on my fastball. I even threw it by a couple guys. I like that when they take a pitch that I spot up, I know that I made a good pitch."

Hiroyuki Nakajima was among those who faced Balfour, who he had never seen pitch before. The shortstop said Balfour is "very much intimidating" and he's glad "he's on our side."

"After seeing him pitch, I'm now skeptical he even had surgery," Nakajima joked.

Balfour will have two weeks of preseason action to prepare for the regular season, just as he drew it up following his procedure.

"That's plenty of time," he said.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español