Saturday, March 7, 2009
Grant Balfour 2009
I wouldn't have thought it was possible for me to not be excited about a pitcher who struck out 14.1 batters per nine innings last year, but in Grant Balfour's case I'm not so sure. While the strikeout rate in 2008 was incredible, there are a number of strikes against him. He walked 4.1 batters per nine innings. That in itself would be acceptable for such an overpowering pitcher, but in his previous major league record, his control was substantially worse than that. His groundball rate was only 29.3%. That's not good. And I was surprised to discover that he's already 31 years old. That makes me a lot less optimistic that he's ever going to learn to consistently throw the ball over the plate.