Minor gave up a hit and struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning en route to his sixth save of the season Saturday against the Diamondbacks. Christian Walker managed to line an 0-2 pitch into left field for a double, but Minor slammed the door on Arizona after that with three outs on seven pitches. In his six save opportunities in September, the southpaw didn't allow a run and produced a strong 8:1 K:BB. He's hoping to return to starting in 2018, but this string of ninth-inning appearances certainly boosts his stock if he returns to a relief role in 2018.
Minor fired a scoreless ninth inning en route to his fifth save of the season in Friday's 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks. He walked a batter and struck out two. Minor has notched saves in each of his last five appearances, firmly cementing himself over Scott Alexander as manager Ned Yost's preferred closing option since Kelvin Herrera was removed from the role earlier in September. While Minor's 2.58 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 over 76.2 innings in 2017 would make him a highly sought reliever when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the 29-year-old recently suggested that he's hopeful to return to working as a starter in 2018. He carries a 4.10 ERA over his 110 career starts in the majors, all of which came with the Braves from 2010 to 2014.
Minor said he will prepare for the 2018 season as if he'll be a starter, Josh Vernier of 610 Sports reports. After spending his first five big-league campaigns as a starting pitcher, Minor was shifted to the bullpen prior to this season in an attempt to keep him healthy and maximize his output. It worked, as he compiled an impressive 2.62 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 85:21 K:BB in 75.2 innings and -- barring any setbacks -- will head into the offseason injury-free for the first time in five years. With a full offseason ahead of him, Minor will stretch out as a starter, though he said he's also open to returning to the bullpen. He owns a 4.10 ERA in 110 big-league starts over his career. There is a $10 million mutual option for Minor and the Royals in 2018 and a $1.25 million buyout, so it is unclear if he will be a free agent or return to Kansas City for one more season.
Minor recorded a pair of outs in the ninth inning without allowing any baserunners for his fourth save Wednesday against the Tigers. Minor came in with two on, one out and a four-run lead, so he got this save by the tying-run-on-deck rule. He traded an out for a run on a grounder, then got the final batter to fly out. The lefty has now collected saves in four consecutive appearances, and he's given up only a single run over his last 13.1 innings, so he's closing out the season strong.
Minor allowed one hit while striking out one in a scoreless ninth inning to earn his third save in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Detroit. Minor gave up a leadoff single to Alex Presley, but induced a double play grounder from Ian Kinsler before striking out Jose Iglesias to end it. He's now 3-for-3 in save opportunities and has allowed just two hits with a 5:0 K:BB over three scoreless innings since taking over the closer role.
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