Our trek through the 2013 Braves Roster Continues
The only place where the Braves have a possibility of working something close to a platoon.
And that's not a bad thing. Because you have a bonafide lefty/righty combination that could lead
to a season end stat line that could read out like this :
That the combination of Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco can finish the 2013 season with #'s that
looks like this
28 HRs - 85 RBI - .268 - and I don't much care about that last number.
I also think that when McCann comes back...these guys could be doing that damage from the 8 hole. That means I think that these 2 guys will be the most productive/1 swing dangerous 8 hole in the NL
That Freddie Gonzalez will cherry pick games/pitchers/matchups that work to his teams and Juan Francisco's benefit. That means hard throwing kind of straight 94 mph fastball pitchers might see Mr Francisco more than
they did last yr. If that guy has a somewhat hanging change-up in his arsenal as well...swing away Juan.
I also believe that Chris Johnson was not a "throw in" in the Justin Upton deal. He's a 28 yr old guy who dealt with being traded once already...so this doesn't effect him. He's not trying to "replace Chipper Jones...because most nights he could be hitting 8th. He's not the face or looked at as anything other than a piece to this puzzle know as the 2013 Braves
That at 28 and 25 you have guys who should be getting better at what it is they do.
Chris Johnson is hardnosed. Juan Francisco has stopped gaining weight. (I also KNOW that reports of him being "thin" were ridiculously exaggerated. But he ain't fatter...so that's a start)
Johnson is the perfect age to be getting this shot. He's a player who now has played enough games and has had enough ABs to know that he can play. He believes that he is better than he has shown. He already is fitting in in the locker room and gives you flexibility off of the bench on nights he doesn't play. Can pick up a First Baseman's glove when you want to give Freeman a night off.
Francisco gives you the oldest of old school Pinch Hitters. Down 2 with a couple of guys on late...hard throwing closer or 8th inning guy on the mound..send him up to take his hacks (and they will be hacks). Won't get cheated and his feast or famine "ability" will be on display whenever these moments arise.