Minter has been working on his mechanics recently after losing his release point early in August following a back strain, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. "Yeah, I've been struggling this past month," Minter said. "I'm just trying to find it again. I'm trying to be consistent and find that release point. That's the biggest thing." The southpaw hasn't felt any discomfort in his back since resting for a few days in late August, but he also hasn't been consistent on the mound, posting a 3.48 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 11:6 K:BB in 10.1 innings over his last 10 appearances. Arodys Vizcaino will serve as the Braves' primary closer over the final days of the regular season as Minter focuses on finding his release point again and getting ready for the playoffs.
Minter struck out one and allowed one run on two hits en route to a save against the Phillies on Friday. Minter gave up a triple to Jorge Alfaro and an RBI single to Maikel Franco but was able to preserve the lead and lock down his 15th save of the season. Minter has allowed runs to score in three of his last six appearances but has not blown a save in that timeframe. On the year, the lefty has a 3.34 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 67:21 K:BB in 59.1 innings. For now, Minter remains the primary closer in Atlanta, and time will tell if the Braves decide to give Arodys Vizcaino some chances in the ninth inning in the last days of the season.
Minter struck out two in a perfect ninth inning against the Giants on Monday en route to his 14th save of the season. A mid-August slip-up led manager Brian Snitker to turn elsewhere for a few save opportunities -- Dan Winkler, Jonny Venters and Brad Brach have all recorded saves in recent times -- but it's clear that Minter is still the preferred option in the ninth inning. He's now recorded three of the Braves' last four saves. It's hard to imagine Arodys Vizcaino taking the job back immediately upon his return from a shoulder injury later this week.
Minter allowed one earned run on two hits and a walk but earned his 13th save Saturday against the Diamondbacks. Minter ran into trouble in the 10th inning by allowing two of the first three batters he faced to reach base. While his line was ugly, it could have been worse as the potential game-tying run was thrown out at home to end the game. Minter has been the primary closer for the Braves since early July, but he has allowed six earned runs across his last six innings, creating some doubt about his stability in the closer role.
Minter (4-3) took the loss Wednesday against the Red Sox, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk across 1.1 innings. He struck out three. After entering with two outs in the eighth inning and the game tied 7-7, Minter proceeded to walk the first batter he faced to load up the bases before striking out Mookie Betts to escape the frame. The next inning didn't go as well for Minter, as he allowed a single to Andrew Benintendi before serving up a go-ahead two-run homer to Brandon Phillips with two outs. The southpaw still owns a 3.31 ERA and 63:18 K:BB through 54.1 innings this season and figures to remain in the ninth inning for the time being, at least until Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) returns later in the month.