Mitch Garver will contend for the backup catcher role with the Twins after a breakout season at Triple-A, where he hit 17 home runs with a .928 OPS. He showed some promise by posting a .753 OPS at Double-A in 2016, but wasn't considered a notable prospect since he was already 25. He hit for more power (.250 ISO), drew more walks (13.4 percent walk rate), and improved his defense at Triple-A, but it's not clear if the improved offensive numbers were a product of him actually getting better or simply getting older. He could be a late bloomer at age 27 this season, although history tells us that is unlikely. That said, the catcher pool is so barren when it comes to offensive production, that Garver's success at Triple-A, even as a 26-year-old merits notice. He is the favorite to win the backup spot over Chris Gimenez, but given Jason Castro's contract and defensive prowess, Garver is unlikely to earn more than a third of the at-bats.
Garver (knee) is 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in two games since returning from injury. The catching prospect broke out with 17 homers and a .928 OPS at Triple-A Rochester last year. He's been slow out of the gate this spring (1-for-11 with a home run), but hopefully he can get back on track now that he's healthy again. Garver is expected to start the season as Jason Castro's backup behind the plate.
Garver (knee) may not return to action until Tuesday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Garver tweaked his knee in Wednesday's game against the Astros. The injury is reportedly minor and an MRI revealed no structural damage. He had hoped to return to game action this weekend, but that appears likely to be delayed by a few days. Still, he should have plenty of time to get up to speed by Opening Day and should be ready to serve as the Twins' backup catcher.
Garver's MRI on his right knee revealed no structural damage and he hopes to return to game action this weekend, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. He tweaked his knee during Wednesday's game and the routine tests did not reveal anything that would keep him sidelined for long. Garver seems to be close to a lock to make the big-league roster as the backup catcher. He slashed .291/.387/.541 with 17 home runs in 88 games at Triple-A last year as a 26-year-old. Much of that production was likely just the product of an older hitter feasting on minor-league pitching, but given how barren the offensive landscape at the catching position is, he's worth a flyer in deeper two-catcher formats. He could hit double-digit home runs with a low batting average.
Garver tweaked his knee during Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against Houston, but is not expected to miss an extended period of time, Mike Berardino of The Pioneer Press reports. Garver sustained the injury when he was caught in a rundown between third base and home plate. He remained in the game for a couple more innings before eventually leaving in the fifth. He should be considered day-to-day.
Garver enters spring training as the leading candidate to win the backup catcher role behind starter Jason Castro with last year's backup Chris Gimenez signing with the Cubs in free agency, MLB.com reports. He'll compete against Bobby Wilson and Willians Astudill for the backup catcher role, but the job is his to lose after a breakout season at Triple-A, where he hit 17 home runs with a .928 OPS. Garver will need to show he can hold his own with his defense. If he wins the job, he could get more at-bats than Gimenez had last year since he's both a right-handed hitter (Castro is a lefty) and can play first base or the outfield in a pinch.