3 takeaways from the Mariners first week of spring training

We might be a week into games, but the storylines include a slimmer Ty France, injury questions, and a look at prospects making noise in camp.

Seattle Mariners Photo Day
Seattle Mariners Photo Day / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

While the players have been grinding in Peoria for the past week-plus, the Mariners have six games under their belt. Small sample size be damned, but there are some exciting storylines and takeaways to cover. Here are three observations from week one in the Mariners' camp. 

Could Ty France play some third base?

My X feed went wild when reports surfaced of a slimmer and trimmer Ty France taking groundballs at the hot corner. The 29-year-old infielder came to the Mariners in 2020 with positional flexibility in his bag. He could aptly and did man first, third, and second base that year. In the next few years, we'd see France put on considerable weight, making his already dwindling foot speed a problem on the bases (league-leading 34 GIDP in '23) and in the field. 

President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto, didn't refute the possibility of France playing some third base this season when questioned by Seattle Sports' Brock and Salk yesterday. Add that Luke Raley can play first base; the organization is high on prospect Tyler Locklear, another first-sacker, and Luis Urias' shoulder and weight issues. There is considerable smoke around France moving around the diamond. 

Who fills the giant Matt Brash-sized void? 

Spring training always includes some bumps, bruises, and soggy arms; as Mariner fans, we've seen them all. Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish threw a wrench in what many folks deemed a three-headed monster in the bullpen by breaking what seems like a legit injury to ace reliever Matt Brash

If Brash is, in fact, out for the season, the Mariners have plenty of unique arms who will vie for the spot. The options are plenty while there are nearly two dozen relievers in camp and the Mariners' acumen for transforming arms into viable bullpen pieces. Leaders in the clubhouse include Carlos Vargas, Collin Snider, and Jackson Kowar. 

The kids are alright!

Scott Servais is rolling out some exciting lineups in the early spring. We've seen noted prospects Cole Young, Harry Ford, and Tyler Locklear get plenty of run and impact games. Servais rolled out Colt Emerson and Jonny Farmelo this week as well. Two of the Mariners' three first-round picks in the 2023 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. 

Emerson has a ton of helium this spring after turning heads in Modesto's run to the California League championship. The 19-year-old infielder got in the weight room and added extensive good weight that should serve him well as he adjusts to the rigors of an entire professional season. 

We'll check in next week with updates on these storylines and more as the Mariners get deeper into what is an exciting camp.