Mitch Garver crushed 31 homers in just 311 at bats while wearing No. 18 for the Twins last season, but he proved Wednesday he’s not sentimental about the number and is instead more concerned about being a good teammate to a key new player.
Garver will give up the number to new Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda, who has worn 18 throughout his professional career — including all four MLB seasons with the Dodgers.
“Sorry to the fans who bought an #18 jersey recently,” Garver (@garvsauce) tweeted. “Kenta really wants that number and if that is what it takes for him to feel comfortable and be his best I’m all in.”
Maeda will be the 50th player in franchise history (counting the Senators days, too) to wear No. 18. Garver last year was the first to wear it since Ryan Doumit in 2012.
Garver will switch to No. 8 — the fourth different number he’s worn in his four years with the Twins after wearing 43 (2017), 23 (2018) and 18 (last season).
Perhaps he will also switch from smashing bombas to relying on hustle and grit with the change? Among the recent Twins to wear 8 are Zack Granite and Nick Punto.
With this dilemma resolved, we’re still awaiting final word on who will wear No. 20. Eddie Rosario has had it each of the past five seasons, but newcomer Josh Donaldson has worn it each of the last eight seasons for various teams.
At the news conference introducing Donaldson as a Twin last month, he was wearing No. 24 but said there are “still conversations that need to be had” about whether that’s what he’ll wear this season.
If Donaldson is unable to pry 20 away from Rosario and sticks with 24, you have the blessing of Trevor Plouffe — who wore 24 from 2010-16 with the Twins — to make some alterations to your old Plouffe jersey.
“If Josh ends up wearing #24 I want to be clear about something. I’m ok with you duct taping over my name on your jersey and putting his on. #teamplayer,” Plouffe tweeted a few weeks ago.