by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/19/2013) After hitting .245 against left-handed pitchers in 2012, the Braves had concerns for third baseman Chris Johnson heading into the season. Those concerns seem to have disappeared since Johnson entered Sunday against the Dodgers with a major-league leading .435 average (20 for 46) against left-handed pitchers.
"There's a couple things I've had trouble against lefties with, and I've just been trying to eliminate that and not even worry about that," Johnson said to MLB.com. "It's been working. I've just got to continue focusing on going up the middle and going the other way."
Johnson entered the season with a career .283 average against right-handed pitchers and a .255 average against left-handers. He's now batting .277 in his career against lefties.
"I think I used to just feel more comfortable with lefties out there, rather than having to face a tough righty," Johnson said. "I'd be like, 'Oh, I feel so good, I'm going to homer off this guy.' Then the next thing you know, I'm 0 for 4."
Chris Johnson's numbers tailing off in May
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/14/2013) Braves third baseman Chris Johnson had a big performance against his former team Monday against the Diamondbacks. Johnson, who arrived in an offseason trade, was 3 for 4 with one home run, one double and three RBI.
Johnson snapped a 0-for-18 skid with a single in the third inning, the Braves' first hit. He hit a two-run homer to cap Atlanta's three-run fifth inning and added a out-out double in the sixth inning. he now has three home runs, eight doubles and 12 RBI.
Johnson is batting .143 (3 for 21) through seven May games after batting .369 in 22 April games.
Playing time slipping for Chris Johnson
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (5/13/2013) Braves third baseman Chris Johnson was in the starting lineup for Monday's series opener at Arizona after seeing limited playing time in the previous four-game set against San Francisco. Johnson, who has yet to record a hit in 17 at-bats this month, was dropped to eighth in the batting order for the first time this season.
The 28-year-old has been rotating at third base with Juan Francisco, but his recent struggles have apparently crippled his time on the field. Monday represented just the second time in the past seven games Johnson has been in the starting lineup as his batting average has dropped to .307.
Braves' platoon of Juan Francisco, Chris Johnson working
Even with Johnson's recent slump, the club's platoon has combined for the fourth-best average among third basemen, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The platoon also has accounted for seven home runs at the position, which is tied for the league lead. Francisco is hitting .302 with five home runs against righties, while Johnson is hitting .413 and two home runs against lefties. While they can provide value in Fantasy leagues, they have to be used carefully due to their playing situation.
Chris Johnson taking early share at third
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/29/2013) The return of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to the lineup last week pushed Chris Johnson back to third base and seemingly back into a platoon with Juan Francisco. But in the six games since Freeman's arrival, Johnson has received the majority of starts at the hot corner over Francisco by a 4-to-2 margin, including every game in Atlanta's recently concluded three-game series at Detroit.
Granted, Francisco collected two starts as the designated hitter. Still, Johnson has maintained his solid presence at the plate and leads the National League with a sturdy .387 batting average. He went 4 for 12 with a pair of doubles and an RBI during the Tigers' series.
Sitting begins for Chris Johnson
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/24/2013) So much for Chris Johnson being the Braves' every day third baseman. In Freddie Freeman's second and third games back from the DL Wednesday and Thursday, Johnson was out of the lineup in favor of Juan Francisco.
Of course, the second might not have happened had Francisco not homered in the first, but that's kind of the problem. For as hot as Johnson has been, leading the majors with a .397 batting average, Francisco has performed well himself, entering Wednesday with a .302 batting average and four home runs.
I feel like Francisco has the higher upside of the two, so I don't expect the platoon to end anytime soon. The sudden surge in Johnson's ownership -- it's up 50 percent from two weeks ago -- was, in my mind, an overreaction.
Chris Johnson due for regression
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013) Braves third baseman Chris Johnson has earned the trust of his new coaching staff, as manager Fredi Gonzalez has hinted that Johnson could be an every-day player moving forward, even when the team gets healthy. A .397 batting average through his first 17 games certainly makes that decision easier.
Johnson established himself as the type of hitter who can consistently sustain high batting averages on balls in play, but should we expect a regression soon? Johnson has flashed some decent power so far, with six extra-base hits in 63 at bats, but his real value is coming from that batting average, which is being propped up by a .460 BABIP. Even with a skill set that has produced an excellent .353 mark for his career, Johnson is a bit over his head right now.
Johnson proved himself to be a decent Fantasy option a year ago, slugging 15 home runs and 76 RBI with a .281 batting average, so this is not to say he cannot be that again. Just expect the batting average-related boost in his production to come down soon.
Chris Johnson could earn everyday role
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/21/2013) With the impending return of regular first baseman Freddie Freeman on Monday, the Braves will send Chris Johnson back across the diamond to play third base. But Johnson, who has served as the primary replacement for Freeman at first, could remain in the starting lineup on an everyday basis, manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Johnson opened the season in a platoon with Juan Francisco at the hot corner but has impressed the team with six multi-hit outings over his past 10 games to vault into the NL lead with a .418 batting average. Meanwhile, Francisco has whiffed seven times over his past three games.
"Chris sure has made a case for himself to play every day but we'll see," Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Saturday.
Chris Johnson to lose at-bats soon
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/19/2013) If Chris Johnson's 19-for-38 performance over his past nine games has you tempted to pick him up, you might want to pump the breaks.
Freddie Freeman is set to return from an oblique injury Monday. His absence is the reason Johnson has been playing every day. He'll have to go back to splitting at-bats with third baseman Juan Francisco, who has been pretty hot himself, with Freeman back.
Granted, the Braves will have the DH spot available for their series at Detroit April 26-28, which might buy Johnson another week of mixed-league viability, but otherwise, you can leave him for NL-only formats.
Chris Johnson records four hits
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (4/15/2013) Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, who homered the previous night, continued to heat up as he recorded four hits during Sunday's series finale against the Nationals.
Johnson singled four times and drove in four runs. He finished 4 for 5 with a run scored and two RBI in a 9-0 victory.
Johnson has been shifting between first and third base, with Freddie Freeman on the disabled list. He finished 8 for 14 with four runs scored, a homer and three RBI during Atlanta's three-game set against Washington. He is hitting .405 with a home run and four RBI in 37 at-bats.
Chris Johnson hits first homer
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/13/2013) Braves third baseman Chris Johnson continued his solid start Friday by smacking his first home run of the year against the Nationals.
Johnson slugged a solo home run in the seventh inning to get the scoring started. He finished the game 3 for 5 with two runs scored and one driven in, in a 6-4 win in 10 innings.
Johnson is batting .357 in eight games, with two runs driven in and two extra-base hits.
Chris Johnson takes over at first
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/7/2013) With Freddie Freeman moved to the disabled list because of an oblique injury, the Braves are expected to slide Chris Johnson from his third-base platoon to first base in Freeman's absence. Johnson, who earned the start at first Sunday against the Cubs, played six games at the position for the Astros last year.
The 28-year-old, who had been part of a rotation with Juan Francisco at the hot corner, is hitting .286 with a double in three games (two starts) this season.
Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson to platoon at third base
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/21/2013) With the third base race too close to call, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday that Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson will likely platoon at third base once the season starts. Farncisco is hitting .353 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 51 at-bats this spring. Johnson is hitting .352 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 54 Grapefruit League at-bats.
"I think both of those guys are playing such great baseball right now," Gonzalez said, "so it would be unfair to say (to one of them), 'you’re the starter.'"
Braves' third-base job a hot topic
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/17/2013) Replacing a legend at third base in Chipper Jones wasn't supposed to be an easy task for the Braves this spring. But manager Fredi Gonzalez is finding the objective particularly tough as Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco continue to battle for the position.
Both players entered Sunday with at least a .295 batting average, and Francisco is tied for the team lead with four homers. "They've both been great," Gonzalez told MLB.com on Sunday. "They give you good at-bats, they play third base better than average defensively. ... They're both, to me, on the club. We'll see. I'm open to a platoon situation, but I'm also open to whoever wins it. For me, it's that close."
No one pulling away at third for Braves
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/15/2013) Unfortunately, that monstrous home run Braves third baseman Juan Francisco hit against the Mets on Friday only counted as one, giving him three to go with a .286 batting average this spring. Chris Johnson, meanwhile, has a .317 batting average and two home runs.
If one of these guys doesn't fall flat on his face in the next couple weeks, I'm thinking they'll wind up in a platoon, which would be unfortunate for Fantasy owners. Granted, neither would carry your team, but either could be a serviceable option in mixed leagues with a full-time role. Francisco might even be a sleeper for 25 homers -- a Dayan Viciedo of the hot corner, if you will.
Oh well. NL-only formats it is.
Johnson off to hot start
(2/27/2013) Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson -- acquired as part of the Justin Upton deal with Arizona -- went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI on Wednesday against the TIgers. Through four spring games, Johnson is batting .444.