Balfour showing signs of improvement

Balfour showing signs of improvement

BOSTON -- Grant Balfour was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Sept. 1 after missing 32 games with a rib strain. Since returning, the right-hander has made two appearances, allowing one run on one hit while walking two and striking out two.

"I like the way he looks," manager Joe Maddon said. "He's around the plate, throwing strikes. The biggest two things I watch for when a guy comes off an injury would be command -- and part of that is, 'Is he guarding at all?' I don't see him guarding in his finish. I think he's on a good track."

While Maddon likes what he's seeing, he conceded that Balfour isn't quite back to the lofty plateau he had reached before getting injured.

"He was going pretty good [when he got injured]," Maddon said. "His velocity was way up there. His arm strength was built up. You could use him two or three days in a row. We've got to get back to that point. I'm saying he's going to get back there relatively soon."