As a direct result of a collision at home plate during the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s 4-3 over the Los Angeles Angels, the Minnesota Twins have placed catcher Mitch Garver on the 10-day injured list with a high-ankle sprain.
Shohei Ohtani attempted to score the tying run on a fly ball to center, but Byron Buxton’s throw to Garver reached home in time to record the out. Garver’s ankle was planted into the ground, and turned awkwardly as Ohtani attempted to slide to avoid the tag.
The Twins are well appointed to withstand the loss of Garver with two catchers — Willians Astudillo and Jason Castro — on the active roster, but there’s no doubt it’ll be a significant loss.
Garver, 28, is hitting a sizzling .329/.418/.747 and leads all MLB catchers in WAR via Fangraphs (1.6). In fact, the Twins have three of the top-30 catchers in fWAR with Castro (t-10th) and Astudillo (t-29th).
Still, that depth will potentially be tested in the coming days. According to Healthline.com, treatment of high-ankle sprains ranges from six weeks on the short end to three months on the high end, though comments out of the Twins clubhouse suggest he should be on the short side of that timeline.
The corresponding move to take Garver’s place on the 25-man roster was the activation of third baseman Miguel Sano from the 10-day IL.
Sano missed the season’s first 41 games after a laceration on his heel required debridement surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester in early March. Sano injured the heel while celebrating his Winter League team’s championship in February, and as a result missed all of spring training while healing.
Sano played 10 games on his rehab assignment — three at Rochester (Triple-A), five at Pensacola (Double-A) and two at Fort Myers (High-A) — and hit .316/.364/.579 with half of his 12 hits going for extra bases (two homers, four doubles).
Sano figures to feature prominently in the playing time situation at third base moving forward, though Astudillo is in the lineup in Wednesday’s series finale with the Angels.