Minor has a 1.93 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 37 strikeouts over 37.1 innings this season. The left-hander has a 3-1 record and has recorded eight holds for the Royals. Minor's first season out of the bullpen has been a resounding success thus far, as he is holding opponents to a .195/.262/.278 slash line and has stifled left-handed hitters even more so. The former starter has a respectable 8.9 K/9 and has given up only one home run this season.
Teams are growing increasingly interested in acquiring Minor from the Royals before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports. For playoff contenders, building a strong bullpen has become more of a priority in recent years than ever before. Minor, a former starter who's developed into a reliable reliever, has become one of the best left-handed options on the market. From a fantasy perspective, Minor's role on another team would be the same as his current job, so it's not like a trade increases the veteran's value under any format.
Minor pitched 1.1 hitless innings while issuing a walk and striking out two Sunday against Minnesota en route to his first win since 2014. Shoulder surgery kept the left-hander out of the majors for two years and resulted in a move to the bullpen. Minor -- who signed a two-year, $7.3 million deal with the Royals in February of 2016 -- got his first MLB victory since pitching for Atlanta on Aug. 28, 2014. Over 18 relief appearances (23.2 innings) this year, Minor owns a stellar 1.90 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with a 24:6 K:BB.
Minor recorded an out and allowed a hit Sunday against the Orioles en route to his third hold of the year. The left-handed specialist has appeared in 15 games this season while logging a total of 20.1 innings. Minor's pitched admirably, managing a 2.21 ERA and 0.89 WHIP, both of which are well below his career marks of 4.04 and 1.25, respectively. The veteran spent his entire career as a starter before the current campaign, but he's found a nice rhythm as a middle-relief man and should see ample opportunities to rack up holds in 2017.
Minor will not be considered to make a spot start in the foreseeable future, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports. After being selected in the first round of the 2009 draft by Atlanta, Minor spent his first five MLB seasons as a starter. However, an injury derailed him and led to exploratory surgery in 2015. He's now pitching in his first big-league campaign in more than two full seasons. For now, the club has no plans to remove the reins as they plan to carefully manage Minor's pitch count in 2017. "I want to get a full season, or at least half a season under his belt to get his arm and shoulder built up," manager Ned Yost said. "He hadn't pitched in the big leagues in a while. Last year [in the minors], he was really, really effective to about the 60-pitch mark, which doesn't work as a starter. So if you continue to build his shoulder up like we're doing, down the road, could he be a starter? Quite possibly." Minor owns a 2.50 ERA with a 9.0 K/9 through 18 innings.
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