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.
Garver went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a walk and three runs scored against the White Sox on Wednesday.
Just like that, he doubled his career hit total, although Garver's MLB career before Wednesday amounted to just six games and 20 plate appearances. The 26-year-old backstop crushed Triple-A pitching this year -- .291/.387/.541 with 17 homers and 29 doubles in 88 games -- but he's just a relatively little-used backup for the Twins right now. Still, owners in dynasty formats should take note of Garver's potential, and this effort might help him carve out some more playing time while Jason Castro (concussion) remains on the DL. After all, Chris Gimenez doesn't provide very impressive competition for at-bats.
Garver is out of the lineup Sunday against the Blue Jays, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Garver heads back to the bench following three consecutive starts, during which he went 2-for-9 with four strikeouts. With Jason Castro (concussion) and Miguel Sano (shin) on the disabled list, Garver should be in store for semi-regular work at either catcher or designated hitter until one of the two players is activated.
Garver will start at first base and bat seventh in the first game of Monday's doubleheader with the White Sox, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.
The Twins have a couple openings in their lineup following the recent placements of Robbie Grossman (thumb) and Miguel Sano (shin) on the disabled list, and it looks as though Garver may receive the first crack at filling one of the voids. Garver, who posted a .928 OPS at Triple-A Rochester this season prior to being called up Friday, will receive his second straight start at first base while Joe Mauer assumes DH duties.
Garver could see time in left field, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
While he wasn't making any concrete lineup plans, manager Paul Monitor said he wouldn't hesitate to put Garver in left field if the situation arose. Garver does have some slight experience in the outfield, starting 14 games there this season with Triple-A Rochester despite never playing there in any lower levels.
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|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2014||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||120||430||65||128||29||1||16||79||61||65||7||5||.399||.481||.298|
|2015||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||127||433||46||106||24||1||4||58||69||82||5||3||.356||.333||.245|
|2017||AAA-Rochester Red Wings||88||320||56||93||29||0||17||45||50||85||2||0||.387||.541||.291|