Twins' No. 23 prospect a catcher, but can play LF, 1B and DH
By Shane Jackson
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Mitch Garver was the first player to arrive at Target Field on Friday.
Garver, 26, wanted to soak it all in, as he stepped into the home clubhouse before the series opener against Arizona. He looked around at all the name plaques on the wall before stumbling on his own atop his first Major League locker.
"It's incredible; it's absolutely surreal right now," Garver said. "I'm blessed to be here. This is a great opportunity for me. I love these teammates; I had a chance to play with a lot of these guys. It's really something special to see all these people here."
The Twins promoted Garver from Triple-A Rochester on Friday after placing outfielder Robbie Grossman on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left thumb. Grossman was injured after colliding with Byron Buxton in right-center during the nightcap of Thursday's twin bill with Cleveland.
Garver was the Twins' ninth-round Draft selection in 2013 and is the team's No. 23 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. He hit .291/.387/.541 at Rochester, and his 17 homers were tied for the organizational lead in the Minors.
He will be the 11th Twin to debut this season when he appears in a game, which will match a franchise record.
"I've learned patience is a virtue," Garver said. "I can learn something every day at whatever level I'm at. I was taking that as my daily routine and being ready when the call did come. If it didn't, I was getting my work in."
Garver was not in the starting lineup Friday against the D-backs, but was available.
As the third catcher on the roster, Garver may not make too many starts behind the plate. However, Garver has played 14 games in left field and five games at first base. Grossman spent a lot of time as a designated hitter, so there may be at-bats for Garver at several positions.
"Mitch has had an outstanding season down there," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm happy we have taken the road of trying to increase his versatility, to try to find more avenues for him to have an opportunity to come up here and play."
• In a separate transaction, the Twins also announced that they returned right-hander Aaron Slegers, who started as the 26th man for Thursday's doubleheader, to Triple-A Rochester. He held the Indians to two runs over 6 2/3 innings in his Major League debut.
• Left-hander Dietrich Enns was given a cortisone shot after his MRI results revealed inflammation in throwing shoulder, according to Molitor. Enns, who went on the disabled list (left shoulder strain) on Thursday, pitched in two games (one start) with the Twins after being being acquired from the Yankees on July 30.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.