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White Sox’ Minaya getting comfortable with ninth-inning role

CLEVELAND — The trade-deadline deals that depleted the White Sox’ bullpen presented an opportunity for Juan Minaya, a waiver claim from the Astros last year who is making the most of an audition in the closer’s role.

Minaya has made eight consecutive scoreless appearances and has converted nine of 10 save chances, including six in a row. The latest came in the Sox’ 2-1 victory Saturday against the Indians.

‘‘The first time was a little bit tough, but I’m getting used to it,’’ Minaya said. ‘‘It’s different. The seventh or eighth [inning], we have more chances. But in the ninth, that’s the last inning. We win or lose.’’

The role is growing on him.

Juan Minaya delivers against the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning on Aug. 18, 2017, in Arlington, Texas, when he collected his first save. (AP)

‘‘I like it,’’ he said.

Minaya said he will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic and will work on commanding his fastball on both sides of the plate. He also is working on a split-fingered pitch.

On the radar

Bench coach Joe McEwing and former manager Robin Ventura, both of whom played for the Mets, reportedly are on their list of candidates to replace Terry Collins as manager should Collins’ tenure end, as expected.

McEwing and manager Rick Renteria are close, but — as expected — Renteria said: ‘‘We always want everybody to do the best that they possibly can and take advantage of any opportunities that are presented to them.’’

Seasons over

Rookie outfielder Nicky Delmonico’s season ended two days early after he banged up his left shoulder while diving for a ball Friday. He returned to Chicago to be evaluated Monday.

Delmonico hit .262/.373/.482 with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 43 games in August and September.

Catcher Omar Narvaez’s season is over, too. Narvaez, who has been dealing with a sore elbow, didn’t make the trip to Cleveland. He hit .277/.373/.340 in 90 games.

Breather for Anderson

Shortstop Tim Anderson’s locker was taped up by first baseman Jose Abreu as a practical joke. Anderson had the day off.

‘‘It’s been a long season,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I don’t mind an off day today.’’

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com


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