Seattle Mariners first baseman Ty France, one of the top-performing hitters in Major League Baseball this season, exited Thursday’s 2-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics (box score) in the fifth inning after suffering an arm injury on a freak collision reminiscent of the play that injured Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy last fall.
After Friday’s game against the Angels, France told MLB.com that he has a Grade 2 flexor strain and will hit the injured list. He also indicated that he’s hopeful just rest and treatment will mean he won’t miss a long period of time. This suggests it isn’t as serious an injury as the Muncy play and won’t require surgery.
France was attempting to corral a throw when Athletics infielder Sheldon Neuse inadvertently ran into his extended arm. He went down in pain and left the game. Super-utility player Dylan Moore took over at first base. Here’s the play where France got injured:
France had X-rays come back negative and it appears the MRI is what revealed the flexor damage.
France, who will celebrate his 28th birthday on July 13, is hitting .316/.390/.476 (154 OPS+) with 10 home runs in 70 games. FanGraphs’ wRC+, a catch-all metric that adjusts for ballpark among other variables, has France 11th among qualified batters.
France missing any period of time is an unfortunate development for a Mariners team that is already facing an uphill battle to break the longest playoff drought in the sport. The Mariners enter Saturday 33-39 on the season, putting them on pace for around 74 wins. FanGraphs’ calculations had them with a 12.5 percent shot at making the postseason, which would be their first trip to October since 2001.
The Mariners originally acquired France as part of a seven-player trade at the 2020 deadline. Seattle also netted outfielder Taylor Trammell, catcher Luis Torrens, and reliever Andrés Muñoz in that deal. All four of those players…