The Padres have brought third baseman Ty France up to the active roster, the club has now announced after Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the move (via Twitter). It seems he’ll take the place of Jose Pirela, who is going on the injured list with an oblique strain.
France already owned a 40-man roster spot, but this’ll be his first taste of regular-season MLB action. His most direct path to playing time was cut short when the club inked Manny Machado over the winter. But France has instead blazed his own trail with an inspired effort to open the year at Triple-A.
A solid effort at the plate in 2018 earned France his roster placement over the offseason, when he’d otherwise have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft. But he has taken things to a whole new level in the new season, compiling 92 plate appearances over which he carries a remarkable .423/.500/.885 slash with nine home runs.
France, who entered the professional ranks as a 34th-round draft pick, has only played on the corners during his minor-league career. That makes it tough to see how he’ll fit into the plans in San Diego, though perhaps the club will simply throw him into the mix at second base or the corner outfield and hope for the best. Otherwise, he’ll presumably be limited to spelling Machado and Eric Hosmer while functioning as a late-inning pinch hitter.
It may not be a full showcase for France, given the awkward fit, but it’ll still be interesting to see where things lead. He’s not considered one of the better prospects in a talent-rich organization, but is nevertheless an increasingly interesting player to watch. France could theoretically force his way into the picture or boost his trade stock, creating some interesting possibilities.