MLB Rumors: Texas Rangers catcher/DH Mitch Garver will have season-ending surgery on Monday, per, among others, Levi Weaver of the Athletic, who says that the Rangers are letting Garver play against his former team, the Minnesota Twins, this weekend before undergoing flexor tendon surgery.
We have known for a while that Garver would need surgery at some point, and that it was going to have be fairly soon if he was going to be ready to start the 2023 season. The Rangers acquired Garver from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ronny Henriquez soon after the lockout ended, with Garver envisioned as the team’s starting catcher.
However, Garver landed on the injured list with a torn flexor tendon, and while he did return to action without missing a lot of time, he has been limited to DH duties since being activated. Garver has been up and down since his return from the injury list, but the team’s recent struggles, Garver’s middling performance as a DH, and the increased chance of Garver not being ready to start the 2023 season if he didn’t have surgery soon all pointed towards going under the knife sooner rather than later.
The Rangers will need to add a position player to replace Garver when he lands on the injured list, as they are already carrying the maximum allowed thirteen pitchers on their active roster. There’s not an obvious choice to replace Garver on the active roster. Ezequiel Duran spent some time up earlier this year when Josh Smith was on the injured list, and showed some flashes, but he does not appear to be big league ready at this point, and unless the Rangers want to make him the regular DH, doesn’t appear to have a position available.
The Rangers could opt to rotation players through the DH spot, allowing Steven Duggar and Brad Miller to get more starts against righthanded pitchers, while looking to a righthanded bat to replace Garver to spot in the lineup against lefties. If they go that route, Andy Ibanez could possibly get another look. Regardless, it appears that the lineup will be looking different after this weekend.