Rob Carr/ Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Tampa Bay Rays skipper Joe Maddon announced Monday that Grant Balfour is no longer the team’s closer.
“We’re going to go by committee right now,” Maddon said before the team’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
The 36-year-old Balfour has converted nine of his 11 save chances this season, but he hasn’t made it easy on Rays’ fans. Through 23 2/3 innings, Balfour has walked 20 batters and struck out 21 while compiling a 6.46 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.
The decision comes a day after Balfour allowed five runs to the Mariners in the ninth inning of a scoreless game, sending the Rays to their 12th loss in 13 games.
Balfour, who played parts of four seasons with the Rays earlier in his career, signed a two-year, $12 million deal with Tampa Bay in January.
Maddon says he doesn’t plan on naming a new closer and that Balfour could get an opportunity to close again later in the season.
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