Twins catcher Mitch Garver exited tonight’s game after a play at the plate and has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, the team told reporters (Twitter link via Dan Hayes of The Athletic). He’ll be further evaluated tomorrow.
Garver was injured on what ultimately proved to be a game-saving play in the eighth inning; Byron Buxton threw out Shohei Ohtani to end the frame in a 4-3 game, but Ohtani slid into Garver’s planted leg. Garver had to be helped off the field and was unable to place weight on his left leg (video link).
While Garver is hardly a household name, any notable injury for the 28-year-old would be a sizable loss for the Twins. He’s off to a blistering start to the 2019 season, hitting at a .329/.418/.747 clip with nine long balls — including a two-run shot that proved to be the difference tonight — through his first 91 plate appearances. Combined with infielder/catcher Willians Astudillo (.290/.303/.484) and a resurgent Jason Castro (.245/.362/.612), Garver has helped to comprise a highly productive trio of catching options for the first-place Twins.
The presence of both Castro and Astudillo on the roster suggests that the Twins wouldn’t need to call up a catcher in the perhaps likely event that Garver requires a stint on the injured list. Minnesota doesn’t have any other catchers on its 40-man roster anyhow, so it seems likely that they’d continue with the Astudillo/Castro pairing, perhaps with Astudillo working in a slightly more conventional role in a two-catcher setup.