The Twins announced that they’ve reinstated catcher Mitch Garver from the 10-day injured list and optioned utility player Willians Astudillo. La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune first reported on Garver’s return.
The Twins have gone without Garver since he went on the IL on Aug. 20 with a right intercostal strain. Before that, Garver only managed a .154/.262/.212 line with one home run in 61 plate appearances. That production represents a stunning drop-off for a player who seemingly broke through a season ago by slashing .273/.365/.630 with 31 homers and 3.9 fWAR in just 359 trips to the plate. Garver led all major leaguers with 350-plus PA then in isolated power (.357), but that number has plummeted to .058 this year.
At 31-21, the Twins are in position for a second straight playoff berth, but it doesn’t appear another AL Central title is in the cards, as they’re three games behind the White Sox. Regardless, if Garver’s able to round back into last year’s form upon his return, it would certainly increase the Twins’ World Series chances. Garver, rookie Ryan Jeffers and Alex Avila could comprise a strong trio at catcher.