Balfour reports good health after Minor League outing

Balfour reports good health after Minor League outing

PHOENIX -- The ultra-competitive Grant Balfour wasn't too happy when he learned that his first game action of the spring would come in a Minor League setting. But he was in a better mood upon his return from the Monday outing, when he was able to report good health.

That's all that really mattered, anyway, never mind his surroundings.

The closer, who underwent minor surgery on his right knee just a month ago, made 17 pitches and "didn't feel anything in my knee," he said.

"It was fine," he continued. "I wasn't thinking about it at all, so now it's about getting ready and going through those speed bumps I get. It's Spring Training -- same old, same old, trying to get my arm going."

Balfour admitted to giving up a couple of hits and runs, but "that was kind of expected," he said. The right-hander is notorious for his spring struggles, so he was just happy he made it through the entire first inning.

"That was a plus," he said, laughing. "Got all three outs."

Balfour compiled a strikeout and two fly balls in that span, never once needing to make a play himself and test his knee.

"Just the outfielders doing all the running today," he joked.

The 35-year-old veteran is now tentatively scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Thursday, against the Reds, and is expected to make five appearances before regular-season play begins April 1.

"I wanted to go out there today because it doesn't really do me much going over there," he said. "I know I needed to get that out of the way, though, I guess. I think I had more intensity going into live batting practice than I did today. For some reason I just can't really seem to get it going in those games over there. That's all right. I got my pitches in and an inning under my belt, too."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.