Carlos Santana Is Welcomed by the Mariners Despite Ty France’s Return to the Lineup!

When Ty France hurt his left elbow in a collision late in June, the Mariners needed assistance at first base. This spurred general manager Jerry Dipoto to trade for 12-year MLB veteran Carlos Santana with the Kansas City Royals.

Carlos Santana Is Welcomed by the Mariners Despite Ty France’s Return to the Lineup!

During France’s 14-day absence, Santana helped “soften the blow,” according to manager Scott Servais. France returned to the lineup on Thursday.

Carlos Santana Is Welcomed by the Mariners Despite Ty France's Return to the Lineup!

Santana’s switch-hitting ability has benefited the Mariners, according to Servais. He is “very even” on both sides. The manager stated that Santana’s experience was also valuable to younger players, who have learned from his preparation methods.

This weekend, France will face the Blue Jays as a designated hitter, but he wants to return to defense quickly thereafter. From there, France should return to first base the bulk of the time, according to Servais.

“But if (France) needs a day, or if he’s going to DH for a day, there’s nobody more experienced than Carlos Santana,” Servais said on Friday.

Santana could play shortstop or third base, Servais joked, before reverting to more serious terms. The 36-year-old is nearing the end of his career and is firmly entrenched at first base. Once France returns to the lineup at first base, Santana will have more opportunities to bat at designated hitter.

The depth is a “wonderful problem to have,” Servais said on Thursday. We have players who can handle the position, and as long as they can hit, we’ll find a place for them.

Santana was briefly a Mariner during the 2018 offseason. In December of that year, Seattle acquired Santana from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for J.P. Crawford. Ten days later, though, Seattle dealt Santana to Cleveland in a three-way deal.

Servais stated that he would joke with Santana whenever they crossed paths and that Santana was his favorite player he never managed. With France’s injury, however, the Mariners needed to find a solution at first base, and Santana provided it – for real.

Servais stated on June 28 that, because of Ty France’s absence, Carlos performs a crucial role for the team. “Hopefully, Carlos will be able to provide us with solid at-bats. Certainly, he is at ease at first base and will perform well for us.”

This is precisely what the veteran has done since coming to Seattle, with eight hits, one run batted in, and six walks in 35 plate appearances through Thursday.

Santana made 136 starts at first base for the Royals last season. He batted.214/.319/.342 with 19 homers and 69 runs batted in. Santana stated that he is unconcerned about a diminished role once France has completely returned.

Carlos Santana Is Welcomed by the Mariners Despite Ty France's Return to the Lineup!

Santana stated, “(France) is like a family; everyone must be united.” “We do not consider that. We have the same viewpoint.”

Santana acknowledges his sluggish start to the 2022 season (he had a.150/.287/.242 slash line through May), but he has found a better rhythm and is optimistic.

“My mentality is to finish strong,” Santana stated. “I am aware of the type of player I am; throughout my career, I have begun slowly but finished strong when the team needed me.” Servais stated. Seattle believes the 36-year-old will maintain his momentum.

“Carlos has been fantastic. I adore what he has contributed to our team and clubhouse. For someone who has played for as long as he has, it is evident that he enjoys baseball. And this is infectious,” Servais stated on Friday.

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