Mariners #2 Culprit: Ty France
I want to defend Ty France. I really do. He was an amazing pickup from the Padres trade a couple of years ago that also snagged us Andres Munoz. However, this year has not been good.
There really does need to be some kind of change made with France. Crowding the plate is one thing when you are hitting .300. You are forcing pitchers to throw into a particular spot in the zone or risk hitting you. In turn, you can focus on those spots and punish them with your bat.
Well, he is still crowding the zone, as evidenced by his league-leading 33 HBP. However, it doesn't work when you are hitting just .249/.338/.360. Those are acceptable slash numbers for a speedy second baseman or outfielder who plays solid defense. Not for a first baseman with only 10 HR and a sprint speed that ranks 533 of 571 possible players.
September has been even worse for France. He is hitting a pitiful .210/.319/.226 this month, with only one extra base hit, a double. Is it bad to suggest that he needs to pinch hit, and be relegated to the bench? If he keeps playing over the remainder of the season and hits like this, a lot of the blame is going to fall on Ty France if the Mariners miss the playoffs.