Grant Balfour Takes Over Closing Duties

After questioning manager Bob Geren’s management style, A’s left-hander Brian Fuentes found himself in the manager’s office on Tuesday. The A’s veteran, acquired this past offseason, had been named the closer at the start of the season, but found himself pitching in non-save situations over the past few games. As a result, Fuentes called Geren’s management skills “unorthodox,” and pointed to Geren’s lack of communication.

Fuentes, 35, is 1-7 on the season with 9 saves and a 5.06 ERA. His meeting with Geren, however, seems to have cleared the air, and both sides have seem to have a mutual agreement with the decision to make Grant Balfour the A’s closer for now.

Balfour, also acquired this offseason, has been on fire lately, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in 11.2 innings this month. He’s 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA on the season, and remain’s Oakland’s hottest arm in the bullpen. Fuentes, meanwhile, will likely remain a late-inning option for Oakland.

In other news, 2009 Rookie-of-the-Year Andrew Bailey, is making his working his way back from an injury that has kept him out since March. He’s expected to make another appearance Wednesday for Triple-A Sacramento. He should be close to returning, barring any setbacks, and with Balfour assuming the closing duties, it’s likely that when Bailey does come back, he won’t be the team’s closer (at least not immediately).


Tags: A's Bullpen A's Pitching Andrew Bailey Bob Geren Brian Fuentes Grant Balfour Oakland A's Oakland Athletics

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