Will Reed Johnson be the odd man out?

Jay Hey could be back as early as the Arizona series next week, which leaves the Braves with a most unanticipated, yet welcome, problem.

The bench, which appeared to be a weakness, has been among the best in baseball. But someone’s got to go.

*It can’t be Ramiro Pena, who’s exceeded expectations and is the only middle infield reserve on the 25-man roster.

*It won’t be Evan Gattis. You don’t send down a player with a .524 slugging percentage, particularly one who’s been far better defensively than advertised (showing a mean throwing arm in LF).

*It shouldn’t be Jordan Schafer, who’s been everything we thought he’d be in 2009, providing the Braves with generally solid defense and base-running and, so far, unexpected pop. Plus, he’s out of options and would never clear waivers.

(Shows how much we know: from last December’s post including Schafer in our countdown of the 20 worst A-Braves)

When FW re-signed him earlier this winter, I couldn’t help but think of Craig Robinson, Larvell Blanks and Adrian Devine. Wasn’t once enough?

*It could be Gerald Laird, but he’s signed to a two-year deal and if you lose him you lose the option of using Gattis and McCann as pinch hitters.

*That leaves Reed Johnson, who has a team option for next year and an affordable contract this year. He should be easy enough to trade. It’s no reflection on Reed, but, considering the options, what would you do?

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4 Comments on Will Reed Johnson be the odd man out?

  1. What about trading Juan Francisco, wouldn’t he have more of a trade value than Reed Johnson? Juan also sticks out a lot and only plays one position.

  2. Juan also hits a lot of home runs, is 12 years younger, bats LH and costs less money. He’s never going to be a star — more like a LH version of Tony Batista — but as complimentary players go, you could do a lot worse.

  3. Did anyone else note he hit the grand slam yesterday off the pitcher he was traded for, J.J. Hoover?

  4. I can’t help but like the 1-2 of Schafer and Simmons atop the lineup with each passing day. In a lineup that has so many boom or bust bats, they are the two whom are able to set the table – you can steal, bunt, hit and run, etc. But what happens when Heyward returns? I don’t know that Fredi can in good faith toss BJ back in the leadoff spot, so I’m assuming Simmons returns there?

    And I’ve racked my brain as to what the team does in terms of the roster once Heyward’s back. They haven’t had to seriously tackle that mess yet because of the injuries to Martinez, Freeman, Heyward. But once everyone is back healthy, I don’t know what the right move is.

    Terrible news about Venters as well. If in fact he requires a second TJ surgery, I can’t help but think about former Giants closer Brian Wilson. He had two as well and you see what he’s doing now.

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