Servais: Surging Mitch Garver will be ‘key’ to Mariners lineup

Jun 12, 2024, 3:27 PM

Seattle Mariners DH/C Mitch Garver...

Mitch Garver of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by for his home run during a 2024 game. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – It was a slog through much of the season’s first two months, but the Seattle Mariners are starting to get a glimpse of the version of Mitch Garver they envisioned.

One thing Seattle Mariners excel at reveals what needs to improve

After a struggles in April and much of May, Garver has started to turn a corner in June. In nine games this month, the 33 year old holds a team-best 188 wRC+ and a productive .259/.412/.593 slash line with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs and more walks (seven) than strikeouts (six).

“Tip my hat to Mitch Garver,” manager Scott Servais said after Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox. “Mitch has been swinging the bat just awesome here the last couple of weeks, and not just the the quality and how he’s hitting the ball, but taking his walks. It’s a tough AB. He’s going to see pitches, he’s going to grind you and get something that he’s looking for.”

Those sort of quality at-bats were on display Tuesday with Garver working a pair of walks and serving a fastball on the outside corner down the right-field line for a two-run double on a 3-2 pitch in the second inning.

“Great swing on the ball tonight,” Servais said. “Love to see him (when) he’s shooting the ball the right field like that.”

Garver signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the club this offseason. The Mariners planned to use Garver as the primary designated hitter due to previous injury history while playing catcher. The belief was the he’d add a reliable veteran bat to the middle of the order. However, Garver never found much of a rhythm in the full-time DH role. That helped lead to a decision in late May to start using Garver occasionally at catcher, a position his career splits show he hits much better while playing.

“I think he’s freed up his mind a little bit,” Servais said. “I think catching a few games has helped and he’s feeling like he’s contributing in other ways, and you take a little bit of the pressure off and now you just go play and hit like he’s capable of.”

Servais believes what Garver has been doing recently is just the start of what’s to come.

“I talked to him at the beginning of the last road trip. I think by the end of the year, he is gonna be one of our best hitters, just kind of like I thought it would be at the beginning of the year,” Servais said. “It’s just a little bit different path, but you got to stay with it, you got to keep grinding. As long as he makes the swing decisions that he typically makes, and that’s what we’re seeing right now, he’s going to get good results. He’s strong, he’s got a good swing, he’s really smart, gonna be key to our lineup here as we go through the rest of the season.”

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Mariners make roster move; is it a good sign about Bryan Woo?
• Does a Luis Robert trade make sense for Mariners? Passan explains
• Can you believe in first-place Mariners? Three stats that say you can
• Mariners’ Luke Raley says he got ‘perfect pitch’ for gutsy bunt
• Seattle Mariners Insider: The transition for rookie Ryan Bliss to big leagues

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Servais: Surging Mitch Garver will be ‘key’ to Mariners lineup