Samad Taylor earns chance for Mariners debut due to veteran's absence

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The Seattle Mariners announced that Ty France will be going on paternity leave before the start of their series in Milwaukee against the Brewers, and they are calling up Samad Taylor to take his place. Taylor was acquired in a small trade from the Kansas City Royals over the offseason and has some intriguing traits. He will not be taking France's spot at first base for the Mariners, but will give manager Scott Servais an option off the bench late in games at multiple positions.

Taylor primarily played second base and left field last season when he made his debut for the Royals, but also made appearances at third base and in center field. His largest standout tool is his speed. He was in the 91st percentile in sprint speed in the majors last year, according to Baseball Savant. He only slashed .200/.279/.267 in 69 plate appearances in the big leagues last year.

He did put up better numbers at the Triple-A level, however. Taylor slashed .301/.418/.466 in over 400 plate appearances and stole over 40 bases. In spring training for the Mariners, the righty put up solid numbers, slashing .273/.342/.485 in over 30 plate appearances. He has the potential to be a nice utility player who has elite speed. He could be a similar player to Sam Haggerty in recent years and might be useful off the bench in late-game situations.

Taylor was in Tacoma to start the season, and during his time at the level, he took rehabbing Dodgers ace Walker Buehler deep.

Mariners' Samad Taylor has chance to fill in nicely for Ty France and provide spark

With France out of the lineup, the Mariners will likely put Luke Raley at first base for the series against the Brewers. He seemed to play consistently as the backup first baseman in spring training. The Mariners will face two right-handed starters in this series, so Raley will almost certainly get the starts at first base in those games. For the game on Saturday when the Brewers will send lefty DL Hall to the mound, the Mariners could put Mitch Garver at first base. That likely depends on the health of Garver's back, which flared up during the first week of the season.

Since this isn't likely a long-term absence for France, the Ms won't miss his bat for too many games. Hopefully it can be a good early-season breather for him from the game of baseball, and hopefully his wife and baby will be healthy. In the meantime, it would be fun to see Samad Taylor get a hit in his first stint with the Mariners, or steal a key base late in a game to help secure a Mariners win in Milwaukee.