Mariners place Ty France on IL amid flurry of roster moves

Jun 9, 2024, 10:44 AM | Updated: 1:27 pm

Seattle Mariners Ty France Astros 2024...

Ty France of the Seattle Mariners hits an RBI single against the Astros on May 27. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners first baseman Ty France broke a franchise record, but it ended up coming with a cost.

Mariners reportedly calling up top prospect Tyler Locklear

When the 29-year-old France was hit on his right heel by an 86 mph slider in the first inning of Friday’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals, it marked the 90th time in his career that he’s been hit by a pitch. That surpassed Hall of Fame designated hitter Edgar Martinez for the most hit-by-pitches in Seattle franchise history. However, this one will leave him sidelined for a bit.

The Mariners placed France on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a hairline fracture in his right heel. The move is retroactive to Saturday.

To fill France’s spot on the 26-man roster, Seattle promoted 23-year-old first baseman Tyler Locklear, one of the organization’s top hitting prospects. The 2022 second-round pick is slated to make his major league debut on Sunday, starting at first base and batting seventh for the series finale against Kansas City.

Those were two of six roster moves Seattle announced Sunday:

• First baseman Ty France (right heel fracture) placed on 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 8
• First baseman Tyler Locklear selected from Triple-A Tacoma
• Right-handed pitcher Matt Bowman selected from Triple-A Tacoma
• Right-handed pitcher Collin Snider optioned to Triple-A Tacoma
• Right-handed pitcher Levi Stoudt designated for assignment
• Right-handed pitcher Eduardo Salazar designated for assignment

France remained in Friday’s game and went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI, but was scratched from the lineup Saturday. After a slow start to the year, France has heated up recently, hitting .296 with three homers, four doubles and a .978 OPS over his past 17 games. Mariners manager Scott Servais said he doesn’t have a timeline for France’s return.

“He’ll be out for a little while,” Servais said prior to Sunday’s game. “No timeline on that. He’s bruised up. We always joke about Ty getting hit by pitches and whatnot, and unfortunately this one got him in a spot that wasn’t protected with the pad or anything like that. … He’s just gotta get it to calm down. He already grabbed me this morning and said, ‘Hey, it feels a little bit better already.’

“The fact that he plays first base is certainly helpful,” he added. “It should help him get on the field a little bit quicker, but I don’t have a timeline.”

Locklear, the No. 83 overall prospect in Baseball America’s Top 100, was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma less than two weeks ago. That came after a scorching start to the season in Double-A Arkansas, where he batted .291/.401/.532 with eight homers, one triple, 12 doubles and a .933 OPS in 41 games. After being promoted, he hit .300/.417/.475 with one homer, one triple and two doubles in 10 games with Tacoma.

“He’s gonna play a lot,” Servais said. “It’s not just gonna be a platoon situation. We’re gonna play him. He’s a first baseman. He’s hit against righties, he’s hit against lefties. There will be days where he gets a day off here or there, but we’re gonna give him a shot.”

Bowman, who signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on June 4, was promoted to add a fresh arm to Seattle’s injury-depleted bullpen. The 33-year-old reliever has appeared in nine MLB games this season with the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks, posting a 5.02 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 10 strikeouts and six walks in 14 1/3 innings. Over parts of six seasons in the majors, he has a 4.19 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 162 strikeouts and 70 walks in 199 2/3 innings.

Snider, a 28-year-old reliever, is headed back down to Triple-A Tacoma after his second stint in the majors this season. After being promoted to the Mariners on June 1, he pitched a pair of scoreless innings on Friday and Saturday.

Stoudt, a 2019 third-round pick by Seattle, struggled in his return to the Mariners organization. The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 6.92 ERA in 52 innings at Triple-A Tacoma this season, with 36 strikeouts, 30 walks and a 1.73 WHIP. Stoudt, who was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds as part of the 2022 trade deadline deal for ace Luis Castillo, was claimed off waivers by Seattle in February after the Reds designated him for assignment.

Salazar, a 26-year-old right-hander who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 23, struggled in four appearances with Triple-A Tacoma.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• How Mariners starter Bryan Woo’s fastballs are so effective
• Bob’s Baseball Breakdown: Would Bob go all-in on Mariners trade?
• Three things that jump out after first-place Mariners’ latest series win
• Watch: Mariners’ Cal Raleigh picks up rare stolen base
• Are any Seattle Mariners prospects untouchable in trades? Law weighs in


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