France spent time working with Padres catchers Tuesday, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. This development adds a twist to the utility infielder's versatility and could help France in his quest to land a spot on the Opening Day roster. However, the Padres already have Francisco Mejia and Austin Hedges penciled in to cover backstop duties -- with Luis Torrens the next man up -- so it would likely take a series of injuries and/or transactions for France to log notable time behind the plate in 2020.
France is starting at third base and hitting seventh against the Dodgers on Wednesday. France is getting just his third start since Sept. 13. Manny Machado heads to the bench for a breather in the second game of the series.
France went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and a pair of runs scored in Sunday's victory over the Diamondbacks. France hit his seventh homer of the year in the fourth inning against Robbie Ray, cutting Arizona's lead to two. He later scored the game-tying run in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch. France has now hit .286/.375/.667 in the month of September, though his season slash line still sits at a poor .238/.302/.413 through 65 games.
France went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and a walk in a victory over the Cubs on Tuesday. France made his first start in five games and took advantage of the opportunity, smashing a solo shot to left field in the third inning. The 25-year-old appeared set to take over as the Padres' regular second baseman at the start of September but has since transitioned to a utility and pinch-hitting role. He is slugging .224/.274/.395 with six homers and 20 RBI in 164 plate appearances this season.
France will take on a utility role moving forward this season, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. France made four consecutive starts at second base to begin September but has not been in the lineup in any of the four subsequent games. He's likely to start Tuesday, though manager Andy Green indicated that France is being looked at in a "bounce-around role" that includes playing only periodically. Green also stated that the decision is largely due to the recent play of Greg Garcia, who has drawn walks in five of his last 12 plate appearances.