Twins Activating Kepler and Garlick; Demoting Jeffers and Rooker

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The Minnesota Twins are going to announce some pretty big moves today. According to Aaron Gleeman (The Athletic), Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick are being activated off of the COVID-19 list. Being sent to St. Paul in return, will be (C) Ryan Jeffers and (OF) Brent Rooker.

Garver vs Jeffers

It’s great to have Max back and nobody loves anything as much as the Minnesota Twins love Kyle Garlick vs left handed pitching. But no Ryan Jeffers means Mitch Garver is about to be our full-time catcher, with Willians Astudillo as an emergency backup. That’s bold, especially given Garver’s depressing .172 BA, .644 OPS and -0.67 offensive win probability added.

Then again, Jeffers didn’t push Garver like Falvine had hoped. He hit a sad .147 with a .393 OPS while with the big league club to start this 2021 season. In his defense, Jeffers faced a lot more right handed pitchers than what Garver did. Jeffers has taken just six plate appearances all season vs lefties (31 vs RHP). Garver’s has taken to the batter’s box 31 times vs LHP and RHP, respectively.

Both Twins’ catchers bat right-handed and both have been worse in their careers vs right-handed pitchers, just like most righty vs righty splits in baseball history. In fact, Jeffers has been far worse (.280 vs LHP / .203 vs RHP) vs lefties than Garver (.268 vs LHP / .240 vs RHP), over the course of their careers.

Good news?

But hey, there’s some good news. Mitch may have gone hitless in the 14 at-bats (5 games) prior to Monday, but he is coming off of a 2/5 game vs Cleveland where he dropped two homers and drove in three runs. The decision to activate Garlick, the (vs) lefty specialist, and kick Rooker down to AAA was made easy by Brent’s .106 batting average and .375 OPS.

Gleeman is reporting a few other moves that will be made official this afternoon as well.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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