No. 8 prospect Locklear called up for debut; France (heel) hits IL

June 10th, 2024

KANSAS CITY -- For the foreseeable future, the Mariners will be showcasing a new look at first base.

With headed to the 10-day injured list on Sunday due to a hairline fracture in his right heel, Seattle called up , the club’s No. 8 prospect. Manager Scott Servais said the plan is for Locklear to get the bulk of the playing time at first while France is out. Servais added that he doesn’t currently have a timeline for how much time France may miss.

Locklear batted seventh Sunday and smacked a go-ahead double into right-field for his first career hit and RBI. He was in line for game-winning hit until the Royals tied it in the ninth, but Locklear still played a major role in the Mariners' 6-5 victory.

“He’s going to play a lot,” Servais said. “It’s not just going to be a platoon situation. There will be times when he gets a day off here or there, but we’re going to give him a shot.”

Locklear was batting .293 with nine homers and 33 RBIs over 51 games with Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma.

Servais was impressed by what he saw from Locklear in Spring Training, and lauded the 23-year-old’s work ethic. In 15 Cactus League games, Locklear batted .320 with a homer and five RBIs.

“The makeup and work ethic are off the charts,” Servais said of Locklear. “We all believe in his bat, that he’s going to hit at the big league level. He’s a big, burly guy who has really improved defensively. He has power and uses the whole field to hit. Just get those first-game jitters out of the way and see where it goes from there.”

France suffered his injury Friday when he was hit by a pitch in the right foot from Royals’ left-hander Daniel Lynch IV. It was the 90th time France has been hit since joining the Mariners, setting a club record. He stayed in the game and hit two doubles before getting scratched from the lineup Saturday.

“We joke about Ty getting hit by pitches, but this one unfortunately wasn’t protected,” Servais said. “He just has to let it calm down.”