Mariners glad to have Carlos Santana even with Ty France again in lineup

When Ty France sprained his left elbow in late June throughout an on-field collision, the Mariners wanted a substitute first baseman. That prompted common supervisor Jerry Dipoto to make a commerce with Kansas City for 12-year MLB veteran Carlos Santana.

During the 14-day stretch France was absent, Santana helped “ease some of the blow,” supervisor Scott Servais mentioned Thursday, the day France returned to the lineup. 

Santana’s switch-hitting skills — he’s “pretty even” on either side — have benefitted the Mariners, Servais mentioned. The supervisor mentioned Santana’s expertise was helpful to youthful gamers too, who’ve been studying from the methods he prepares. 

France is easing again this weekend towards the Blue Jays as a delegated hitter, however he plans to return on protection shortly afterward. From there, Servais mentioned France needs to be again on first base and can play nearly all of the time.

“But if (France) needs a day, or he’s going to DH for a day, there’s nobody better to put than Carlos (Santana) over there with all the experience he’s got,” Servais mentioned Friday. 

Servais joked that Santana may play shortstop or third base, earlier than backtracking to extra severe phrases. The 36-year-old is within the later levels of his profession and is locked in at first base. But as soon as France returns to the lineup at first base, that’ll liberate at-bats for Santana at DH.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Servais mentioned Thursday of the depth. “We’ve got guys that can handle the position, and as long as they swing the bat (well), we’ll find spots for them.”

Santana was, actually, a Mariner for a short stint in 2018 — although he by no means performed. In December that yr, Seattle acquired Santana from Philadelphia as a part of a commerce that additionally obtained the Mariners J.P. Crawford. But 10 days later, they traded Santana away to Cleveland, a part of a three-way commerce.

Three and a half years later, the Marin. Servais mentioned he’d joke with Santana each time they crossed paths that Santana was his favourite participant he by no means managed. But with France’s harm, the Mariners wanted to discover a resolution at first base, and this time it got here within the type of Santana — for actual. 

“Carlos, obviously he fills a big need for us right now with Ty France out,” Servais mentioned on June 28. “Hopefully, Carlos can step in and give us some good at-bats. Certainly, he’s comfortable over at first base and he’ll do a good job for us.”

Since arriving in Seattle, the veteran has achieved simply that, albeit by way of simply 9 video games. He’s already earned eight hits, an RBI and 6 walks by way of 29 at-bats. 

Santana made 136 begins at first base throughout the 2021 season. He hit .214/.319/.342 with 19 residence runs and 69 RBI, with a career-low OPS+ of 81. This yr, when he was traded in late June, his OPS+ was at 98 (the league common is 100), and has since climbed to 113 in Seattle.

Santana mentioned he and France discuss lots and assist each other with the final word purpose all the time being Mariners wins. Santana isn’t bothered by a decreased position as soon as France has absolutely returned.

“(He’s) like family; everybody has to be all together,” Santana advised The Seattle Times. “We don’t think about that. We’re on the same page.”

Santana is aware of his begin to the 2022 season was sluggish (he posted a .150/.287/.242 slash line from the beginning of the season till the tip of May). But now that he’s settled into extra of a groove in June, he mentioned his mentality is to assist the group as a lot as he can during the last three months. 

“Finish strong, this is my mentality,” Santana mentioned. “I know what kind of player I am — all of my career, I’ve started slow but finished strong when the team needs me.”

Some veterans could be “ho-hum” as a result of they is likely to be repeating comparable experiences from their previous, Servais mentioned, however Santana isn’t like that. His perspective, and the depth he supplies, has benefitted the Mariners to this point, Servais mentioned. Seattle hopes the momentum will proceed for the 36-year-old.

“Carlos has been great. I really love what he’s brought to our team, our clubhouse. For a guy who’s played as long as he does, you can see it, he loves playing baseball and that’s contagious,” Servais mentioned Friday. 

All-Star voting

  • France completed second within the American League’s All-Star voting for first baseman. He was overwhelmed by Toronto’s’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who earned his second All-Star choice. Guerrero leads the Blue Jays with 19 homers and 54 RBI this season.

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