Scott Servais and the Mariners will have a fine line to walk with rest management

Garver at DH means Servais will need to find a new way to rest his elder statesmen. How does he keep the lineup potent while giving guys days off their cleats?
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages
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Dumps like a truck, truck, truck

Cal played in 145 games last year, 128 of those were behind the plate. If he repeats that this year Zavala will be the backstop in 34 games. That’s assuming Garver never throws on the pads. CaI will likely not get rest days at DH this year though which would result in his bat in the lineup about 20 less games. I don’t think that’s palatable. He’s one of the most dangerous guys on this roster. Servais might just plan to make Cal available to pinch hit at a crucial moment in the games where he’s sitting.

He could then either be replaced by a utility guy, suit up himself for an inning or two, or let Garver jump back there and dip his toes in at the back end of games, limiting his exposure to injury. I think it’s easier to view catcher workloads by innings. 1,458 of them have to be accounted for at least in a given season. Raleigh logged 1,038 of them in 2023.

I think that’s a great target to shoot for again. Garver posted 230 in Texas last year which was too many. Assuming he gets the last two innings in maybe 20 games tops means I don’t think he should be even scraping 50 over the ‘24 season. We are looking at around 350 innings out of Zavala which probably means 150 plate appearances.

Mind you that’s not many for a backup catcher but this particular one hit a combined .171 across 3 teams with a whopping 47 OPS+ last year. That’s not a major leaguer. There is hope that the 2022 Seby shows up where he hit .270 across 205 plate appearances. I’d bet on somewhere in the .230 range this year. If he’s not near that mark we probably see a call-up to replace him.