ANAHEIM — Ty France landed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday with a sprained left elbow, a trade that removed the most productive hitter from the Mariners’ already thin roster for the immediate future.
France said he would use the next 3-4 days to rest and receive treatment, fight inflammation and then reevaluate. He can play a few catches, but he won’t pick up a bat, as the team’s doctors and athletic trainers have informed him that swinging will present the most stress in the area.
“It’s not that they didn’t seem as worried, but because it’s my arm that’s not throwing, I don’t think it’s that worrying,” said France, who was initially concerned about tearing his arm. ‘UCL after being injured in a collision at the start. basis on Thursday. “Basically the biggest test is going to be the swing. If I can drop the bat and hold it with this one hand at full strength, then I’ll be shut out.
France and the Mariners could not estimate a schedule, and the earliest he can return is July 4 as the move is retroactive to Friday. The club have already lost their top power hitter, Mitch Haniger (Grade 2 ankle sprain), and another key hitter, Kyle Lewis (concussion), making France’s absence even greater. The first baseman strove hard to earn his first All-Star bid, after slashing .316 / .390 / .476 (.866 OPS) with a team-best 2.3 wins over substitution, per FanGraphs .
So Seattle will continue – and here’s what that first basic fill situation might look like:
Kevin Padlo made his second career start on Saturday, after Dylan Moore got the nod on Friday. Mariners manager Scott Servais also said Abraham Toro and Luis Torrens could also see some action. This foursome has a total of 31 games of experience in this position.
“I’m not sure how this is all going to pan out,” Servais said. “We will give a number of guys an opportunity – depending on the game, keep rotating it. I don’t think it’s enough to find a guy that you’re going to dive into and say, ‘OK, you’re going to play every day until Ty comes back.’ This is probably not the direction in which we will go. We’re going to mix it all up.
In a corresponding roster move, infielder Drew Ellis — who was claimed off waivers from Arizona on June 16 — was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. Servais mentioned that Ellis could see time early on, although his only experience in the position was 28 games at the minors. Ellis, a former second-round draft pick, has just 34 games of major league experience.
Evan White will not count immediate playing time due to a setback with his hernia and hip injuries that cut short his rehab stint with Tacoma on June 14. The 2020 Gold Glove Award winner hasn’t played in the Majors since May 2021, and Servais mentioned he will need extended playing time in the minors once he is healthy enough before being released. ready to come back.
If those options seem limited, the trade market is just as barren right now – and the August 2 trade deadline is far enough away that any trade this early, with many teams still in the hunt for the playoffs, will likely cost more. dear.
The most notable impact option is Josh Bell, who hits .303/.386/.487 (.873 OPS) with 11 homers and 141 wRC+ (league average is 100) for Nationals. last place. His defensive measures have also improved especially in the last two seasons, when he ranks in the 66th percentile this year in Outs Above Average. He’s definitely going to be moved in the next few weeks, but he’ll also be a free agent in the offseason and would cost premium prospect capital.
The Mariners aren’t as deep as when their farm system was ranked No. 2 by MLB Pipeline in March, after graduating Julio Rodríguez and George Kirby, and sending starting pitcher Brandon Williamson to the Reds in the trade who fired Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. . They also took a break from trading from that depth, especially for a rental.
Some fans have been calling for another Nationals hitter, former Mariner Nelson Cruz, but his inability to play first base makes that incredibly unlikely. Other first basemen who could become available include Trey Mancini of Baltimore, Jesús Aguilar and Garrett Cooper of Miami, Hunter Dozier of Kansas City, Dominic Smith of the Mets and more. None has as much impact as France.
The ripple effect
Translation: For now, the Mariners will operate with what they have, which could feature even more game-driven lineups.
Saturday against Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval, Moore, who has .850 OPS against left-handers, started at second base on Adam Frazier, who has .580 OPS against left-handers and cut .220/.292/.295 overall in what has been a trying first season in Seattle. Toro switch-hits but is much better on the left side, Padlo’s splits are better against right-handers, and Ellis is better against left-handers. Torrens has been much more inconsistent after crushing southpaws last year.
Servais had already used 54 line-ups in 72 games on Friday, and with France absent he will continue to mix things up.