Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

VIDEO: Opposing Pitchers Getting Wasted By The Bomba Squad

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:53 AM
Here's an entire highlight reel of just pitchers reacting to Twins bombas. Enjoy.  
Full topic ›

Trevor Bauer doing breakdown of Max Kepler's HR strea...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:21 PM
  https://old.reddit.c...ins_fans_in_my/     Not sure if anyone has watched any of his videos he has been making lately bu...
Full topic ›

Scott Boras Wants a 162 Game Season - Playoffs in December

Other Baseball Yesterday, 07:55 PM
The Twins least favorite agent strikes again.Could be chilly at Target Field, since Twins look likely to make Scott's December playoffs.O...
Full topic ›

Helfand: “early June start appears out of picture”

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:47 PM
https://www.twinciti...florida-orders/
Full topic ›

Thor done for the year

Other Baseball Yesterday, 07:19 PM
The trades that you did not make http://www.startribu...gery/569067112/
Full topic ›

3 Questions Facing Twins Catchers During the 2020 Season

Spring has finally sprung with Twins pitchers and catchers reporting to Fort Myers this week. Many of the players are already working out at the team’s facility and media members are on the way down to sunny Florida. For Minnesota, the catching situation looks different than last year and there are some questions surrounding the team’s catchers this season.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
How much will Mitch Garver regress?
Mitch Garver had a breakout season in 2019 as he compiled 31 home runs with a .995 OPS in only 93 games. Because of his offensive output, he was be awarded a Silver Slugger. Now entering his age-29 season, it’s going to be tough for him to repeat those numbers in 2020 so some regression can be expected. So how much will he come back to the pack?

Baseball Reference projects him hitting .263/.342/.510 (.852) with 22 home runs and 20 doubles in 413 plate appearances. This would be an increase of 54 plate appearances over last year when he set a career high with 359 PA. FanGraphs Steamer projections have him hitting .254/.333/.464 (.797) with 16 home runs and 18 doubles. They also see him getting into 90 games and having 378 plate appearances.

Most likely, Garver will be somewhere in the middle of these two different projections. It could also depend on what kind of baseball is being used throughout the big leagues. Either way, it seems unlikely for Garver to hit more than 30 home runs for the second consecutive season.

Will Alex Avila be used as much as Jason Castro?
In his first year as manager, Rocco Baldelli stressed the importance of rest for all his players and this was especially true for his two catchers. In fact, Jason Castro and Garver basically split the catching duties with Garver starting just one more game behind the plate than Castro. Minnesota brought in Alex Avila to replace Castro as the team’s second catcher, but how much will he be used during the season?

Baseball Reference projects Avila to get just over 320 plate appearances which would equate to roughly 80 games played. Steamer projections have him appearing in 51 games and getting 205 plate appearances. After Garver’s 2019 season, Baldelli might want to use him on a more regular basis but rest certainly seemed to help both catchers last year.

It seems likely for Garver to catch roughly 60% of the team’s games with Avila catching 35% and Willians Astudillo picking up the rest of the starts.

Will the Twins carry three catchers?
Because of a rule change this year, teams will now be able to carry 26 players on their active roster. This makes it easier for a team to consider carrying three catchers. Astudillo played in 58 games for the Twins last season, but only 17 of his starts came behind the plate. He was used at every infield position besides shortstop and in both corner outfield spots. This defensive flexibility could be one reason the Twins keep Astudillo on the roster.

In my initial Twins roster projection, I only had the Twins carrying two catchers with Astudillo being used in Rochester. The final battles for bench spots will be between Ehire Adrianza, Jake Cave and Astudillo. Adrianza is the team’s best defensive middle infielder, so he should have a bench spot. This leaves Cave and Astudillo fighting for the last spot, but realistically both players will be used at different points during the 2020 campaign.

What other questions do you have about the Twins catching situation? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • mikelink45 and nclahammer like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

15 Comments

Yes to the baseball reference numbers for Garver. Regression or not, I'd take those numbers any day. Not that I necessarily agree with that much regression.

The Castro vs Avila comparison is interesting as they are similar players in regard to overall production, but are not the exact same performers category to category.

Despite the results of almost 50-50 split time between Garver and Castro last season, and the time off/rest for both, I think it could easily be argued some of that was veteran vs youngster and Garver could easily increase his time behind the plate another 10-20% without some fatigue wear down.

I think we're going to be just fine at catcher in 2020.
    • Twins33, Mike Frasier Law, SwainZag and 5 others like this

Garver will not regress, but be a bit better, if he stays healthy. He is smart, calculating and has been working on it this off season. I'm on the record with this call for Garver. Maeda with be better but Garver gets worse? Not buying.

    • Mike Frasier Law, JW24, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
Photo
Doctor Gast
Feb 11 2020 05:58 AM

 

Garver will not regress, but be a bit better, if he stays healthy. He is smart, calculating and has been working on it this off season. I'm on the record with this call for Garver. Maeda with be better but Garver gets worse? Not buying.

Garvers mind set will make him better. Most definitely on defensive, it`ll be hard to match his #s offensively w/ the less lively ball but comparatively he should maintain aproximately the same level. I prefer Astudillo as the extra bench because of his versatility. Him as an extra catcher is a big advantage. If he can show he can improve his plate discipline while playing in the bigs he stays if not he goes down to begin with

    • mikelink45 and rdehring like this

2021 - it will be Garver and Jeffers - then the catcher position will really have an offensive advantage over other teams.

    • Mike Frasier Law and DocBauer like this

 

Garver will not regress, but be a bit better, if he stays healthy. He is smart, calculating and has been working on it this off season. I'm on the record with this call for Garver. Maeda with be better but Garver gets worse? Not buying.

Agreed completely. The idea that guys will regress after career years is overblown, especially when they have such a small sample size to compare their career year to!

 

Garver did not hit many cheap homers last year. His swing is so powerful for how compact it is that when he makes contact, it is loud. I would bet on him out-producing last season assuming he stays healthy and gets the same opportunities before I would bet on him regressing.

    • h2oface likes this

I think Avila's role is dependent on if they carry a 3rd catcher on the roster, as he's the most likely PH candidate in close games. Related, it depends how much they trust Austudillo catching in close games.

2021 - it will be Garver and Jeffers - then the catcher position will really have an offensive advantage over other teams.


And Rortvedt by 2022 at the latest?

And the solid and versatile Astudillo more than likely still around?

Depth of talent is a fun problem to have.
    • mikelink45 likes this

Do both Cave & Astudillo have options left? If so then they could be shuttled back & forth based on matchups & needs throughout the season. 

Rortvedt will need to be on 40 man roster after this season, Jeffers after 2021 season. Will be interesting to see who Twins call on if injury occurs. Can't see them utilizing Astudillo as half of 50/50 or 60/40 catcher rotation. Rortvedt seems more advanced defensively especially throwing out basestealers, LH batter, Jeffers more advanced hitter, good pitch framer, RH batter.

 

Agreed completely. The idea that guys will regress after career years is overblown, especially when they have such a small sample size to compare their career year to!

 

Garver did not hit many cheap homers last year. His swing is so powerful for how compact it is that when he makes contact, it is loud. I would bet on him out-producing last season assuming he stays healthy and gets the same opportunities before I would bet on him regressing.

 

While it's not a given for player's to regress after such a breakout year, breaking down Garver's year shows he is a good candidate. 

 

It's no secret that Garver raked against LHP.His slash line looked: .321/.434/.736/1.170 which is unbelievable.36% of his PA were against lefties, which is a good 7-9% more in favor from what a guy who plays everyday usually see.Using him more often will result in more PA against RHP which should bring down his overall line,  

 

You also have to keep in mind he got a lot of rest throughout the season last year.He started 76 games at catcher and while we all expect and hope he starts more often than 1/2 the time, using him more will probably tire him out a bit more as well. 

 

I think expecting the rate numbers to go up as he plays more often is just asking for disappointment.Now, i don't expect him to fall off a cliff or anything, but an OPS of around .850 would still be dang good asset. 

    • h2oface likes this

 

While it's not a given for player's to regress after such a breakout year, breaking down Garver's year shows he is a good candidate. 

 

It's no secret that Garver raked against LHP.His slash line looked: .321/.434/.736/1.170 which is unbelievable.36% of his PA were against lefties, which is a good 7-9% more in favor from what a guy who plays everyday usually see.Using him more often will result in more PA against RHP which should bring down his overall line,  

 

You also have to keep in mind he got a lot of rest throughout the season last year.He started 76 games at catcher and while we all expect and hope he starts more often than 1/2 the time, using him more will probably tire him out a bit more as well. 

 

I think expecting the rate numbers to go up as he plays more often is just asking for disappointment.Now, i don't expect him to fall off a cliff or anything, but an OPS of around .850 would still be dang good asset. 

I understand what you are saying, and I understand why the assumption is that Garver's numbers will regress, along with many others who all had career years last year. I just don't think you can look at a guy who has played a grand total of 218 regular season games (and 3 post season games) and say definitively that he has had his best season and will therefore regress.

 

Every career year looks like a candidate for regression until that player improves upon it. My original point was simply that I would bet on Garver having a better year in 2020 than he did in 2019 before I would bet on him having a worse year.

    • h2oface likes this

 

I understand what you are saying, and I understand why the assumption is that Garver's numbers will regress, along with many others who all had career years last year. I just don't think you can look at a guy who has played a grand total of 218 regular season games (and 3 post season games) and say definitively that he has had his best season and will therefore regress.

 

Every career year looks like a candidate for regression until that player improves upon it. My original point was simply that I would bet on Garver having a better year in 2020 than he did in 2019 before I would bet on him having a worse year.

 

It's not like that's the only level of baseball he had played before though.When a guy in his 2nd season puts up a SLG% that nearly 100 points over what he put at any level before, it's usually an outlier.I would love of he improved on his numbers from last year, but I'm not expecting it.

    • Tomj14 likes this

 

While it's not a given for player's to regress after such a breakout year, breaking down Garver's year shows he is a good candidate. 

 

It's no secret that Garver raked against LHP.His slash line looked: .321/.434/.736/1.170 which is unbelievable.36% of his PA were against lefties, which is a good 7-9% more in favor from what a guy who plays everyday usually see.Using him more often will result in more PA against RHP which should bring down his overall line...... 

 

 

That is the popular opinion based on the conservative and common process of projection that is often used. But my bet is that Garver will not fit in your/the box. People were saying the same thing about Kepler not being able to hit lefties, so don't let him play against lefties. I contended all he needed was more at bats against lefties, and he would be fine and improve. Garver knows his weaknesses, and will be improving them. Baldelli has already said that he doesn't expect a huge difference in his time behind the plate. I bet there is some more though. We will see who's projection is right at the end of the year. So while it's also not a given for players to keep improving once they hit their stride, I like that he is a good candidate to improve as he progresses this year.

 

Glad to see Harper gone. I will also be happy for the Twins when swing-at-everything-mediocre-at-every-position Astudillo is gone. I wish them well carrying on their career, elsewhere.

There's always the exception to the rule, like Brian Dozier in his prime was much better in MLB than his minor leage career. But, while I think Garver is somewhat like Dozier in that he will be a better MLB player than MILB, I think there's definitely some regression coming. Especially if the ball doesn't carry like it did last year. I think he'll still be good and I'd be more than happy with a catcher with a .800+ OPS. 

Do both Cave & Astudillo have options left? If so then they could be shuttled back & forth based on matchups & needs throughout the season.

yup. I see Marwin as the 4th OF and Astudillo up to start the season as a decent bet.

Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , 09 Mar 2020
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 29 Feb 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 24 Feb 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 18 Feb 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 03 Feb 2020
Photo