Ty France has been struggling mightily recently. It has come coincidentally after getting hit on the wrist again by a pitch. France has said that he is not hurt and that is not why he is struggling, but it is a possibility. He is hitting .143 in the month of August, and under .200 in the second half. France has proven to get hit more than anyone in baseball and struggled after getting hit in the wrist in each of the last two seasons. This means that Evan White could and should be a factor in 2023.
Since France has shown that playing a full season at first base is too much to expect, the Mariners need to have a plan to keep him healthy. The best way to do that is to give France days off. The problem is that he is a very good hitter and an All-Star when healthy. This means Seattle doesn’t want to take his bat out of the lineup. But, maybe he needs one day off a week and a few days at DH a week. The best part about that idea is that the Mariners have the perfect player for this.
The Mariners should look to Evan White to help at first base in 2023
That player is Evan White. Evan White is the ideal candidate to fill this role because he is a Gold Glove first baseman, and has lots of potential. He has been hitting better as of late in Tacoma, with 3 home runs, a .333 on-base percentage, and .545 slugging in his last 10 games. The Mariners have been running Carlos Santana out there a lot recently, and he has not been particularly good. Aside from a few clutch home runs, he has hit .151 in the second half.
Evan White also is a better runner and fielder than Santana. He would improve the infield defense, and that is never a bad thing. Having some extra speed on the bases could be a nice boost as well. Even if he is on the bench 3-5 days a week, White would be an option for a pinch runner late in games or extra innings.
White gets a lot of negative press from fans for signing a long-term deal before reaching the Major Leagues. To be fair, he has struggled and needs time in the minors to improve and become a better offensive player. If he can come up next year and be a good part-time player, then he would be a valuable piece to the Mariners. He even could learn to play some outfield to get more playing time, which might mean more days at DH for Jesse Winker and maybe Mitch Haniger if he stays.