Receiver Mitch Garver chooses the operation and will be back in the spring

Stephen Hawkins, The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Mitch Garver is a catcher who can hit the ball well and that’s why the Texas Rangers acquired him. However, he doesn’t just want to hit and will therefore undergo surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right arm, which will put an end to his campaign.

Garver has been restricted to the designated hitter role and has been unable to catch or throw since early May due to the problem in his right forearm. He was plagued by the injury long before May.

The 31-year-old American is due for surgery on Monday, and that way he will be fully recovered to find his place behind the plate at the next spring camp.

« There was a slim possibility that I could put off the surgery until the end of the season, » Garver said. I might have sacrificed a few months as a catcher in 2023, but I could have come up to bat. However, I believe that if I want to be the best version of myself, I have to be behind the plate. I bring more to the team that way.”

The Rangers acquired Garver from the Minnesota Twins early in spring camp for shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The Twins drafted Garver in 2013 and he made his MLB debut in 2017.

Hit by a pitch when the bases were loaded to give Rangers the first run in a 6-5 win over the Twins on Friday, Garver was also inserted as the third batter on Saturday against his former club.

The Rangers won 9-7 on Saturday and Garver was one-for-four at bat.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Garver will also play the third and final game of the series on Sunday as the Texas club look to sweep the series.

Coming into Saturday’s game, Garver is averaging .211, 10 home runs and 24 RBIs in 53 games. After his last game as receiver — May 8 — his name was placed on the disabled list for his forearm. He then missed three more games in late May with left knee pain, and then saw his name placed on the COVID-19 list last month.

« It’s a mental test. It’s hard to be hurt. The sport is hard enough as it is, and having to play with an injury makes it even harder,” admitted Garver, who has been receiving treatment daily for the past two and a half months.

“I haven’t been 100% once since the start of the season and that’s frustrating. It’s something I couldn’t have predicted. We have done our best to manage the situation,” he added.

Garver established himself as an impact player in 2019 when he homered 31 in 93 games and won the Silver Stick, but has since struggled with injuries.

He struggled in 2020 despite the reduced schedule due to COVID-19, and then missed most of the 2021 season after being hit in the groin by a foul ball and needing a operation.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Garver has always been productive when he shows up on the field while being a dependable teammate and a good person.

“If you look at what he does when he plays, he’s quite an asset behind the plate. He’s great at bat, always hits the trails and is a threat against left-handed pitchers, Baldelli said. It’s hard to see what he does when he’s on the field and not rank him as one of the best receivers in baseball. »

Woodward said the Rangers got a little taste of the Garver they wanted midway through their training. The manager could also sense that the receiver was annoyed that he couldn’t consistently perform as well as he can.

« I hate it because I’d rather put him in the lineup all the time, » Woodward said. But it gives a little buffer period so that if there’s a setback or whatever, he’s going to be 100% ready for spring camp.

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