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Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Brian Serven gives Toronto much needed catching depth

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Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
The Blue Jays have some much needed catching depth on their 40-man roster.
On January 16, the Blue Jays Twitter account announced that they have claimed catcher Brian Serven off waivers from the Chicago Cubs, the second such time they’ve done so since the 2023 season ended. If you recall, the Jays also claimed Brendon Little off waivers very early in the off-season.
Serven’s major league career hasn’t quite taken off yet, as he is slashing .195/.248/.314 with six homers in 228 plate appearances for a 42 wRC+ and a 0.1 fWAR. The bulk of those plate appearances came in 2022 with the Colorado Rockies, where he slashed .203/.261/.332 with all six homers in 205 plate appearances for a 52 wRC+.
The 28-year-old’s best season with at least 300 plate appearances came in 2018, when he slashed .268/.326/.488 with 12 home runs in 337 plate appearances. He finished with a 114 wRC+ this season playing with Colorado’s High-A team.
Interestingly, those 12 home runs weren’t his career-high total, as he hit 16 home runs with Colorado’s Triple-A team in 2021, slashing .250/.308/.504 in 276 plate appearances for a 93 wRC+.
As one would expect, Serven is a glove-first player. In 2022, the catcher played 484 innings behind the plate and had 5 Defensive Runs Saved in that stretch. On top of that, he ranked tied for eighth in Catcher Framing Runs with 5. This is a stat that measures balls converted to strikes in the shadow zone, a few inches around the plate. In 2023, he had 1 CFR in just 64 innings behind home plate.
Serven is an average blocker, owning 1 Blocks Above Average, another Baseball Savant statistic that was introduced in 2022. Unfortunately, the sample size is far too small for the 2023 season.
All in all, the Jays got a catcher who has shown some pop in the majors, but can also fill in defensively if Alejandro Kirk or Danny Jansen get injured. It’s to be seen if Serven will get an opportunity in 2024.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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