When Johan Heim went down with a wrist injury, it seemed like the Rangers were going to be left with a huge hole at catcher. Heim was, after all, the starting catcher for the American League All-Star team, earned mostly from his bat.
He had racked up 70 RBIs, was hitting .280, and had a really nice .816 OPS. Funny thing about it was, the Rangers had a better offensive catcher backing him up in Mitch Garver.
It’s not too often you lose an All-Star and can replace him with someone even more productive.
On the surface, it may not seem that way. When Heim went down on July 26, Garver was hitting .255, with an OPS of .775. But hidden in those numbers was a totally different hitter when he was a starting catcher.
When Garver starts behind the plate, his numbers are elite: .339 AVG, ,406 OBP, 1.099 OPS. The Rangers were not only not missing a beat without Heim, they actually got better.
Not counting the three hits he got last night, since taking over for Heim, Mitch Garver is hitting .389 with a 1.172 OPS.
His two-RBI double in the fourth inning pulled the Rangers within one at 3-2. He doubled again in the sixth but was stranded there. His single to lead off the top of the eighth, with the score tied 3-3, led to the two-run rally that would seal the Rangers 5-3 win over Oakland.
As good as Jonah Heim is, the Rangers are better offensively when Mitch Garver catches.
That is what you call depth.