Johnson and Francisco to platoon at third for Braves

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It will take two men to fill the void left by Chipper Jones in Atlanta. The Braves plan to move forward with a platoon of Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco at third base.

Ideally one of the players would have separated themselves from the other but both played well this spring.

“I think both of those guys are playing such great baseball right now,” Gonzalez was quoted in a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “so it would be unfair to say (to one of them) you’re the starter.”

Francisco is the better player defensively and has a little more power in his swing but Johnson has proven to be the better player when it comes to contact.

The normal idea of a platoon does not appear to be an option in this case. The right handed hitting Johnson is a career .283 hitter against right handed pitchers and a .255 hitter against lefties. Francisco is the opposite. A left handed batter he has a .272 career average against lefties compared to a .190 average against right handers.

This has all the makings of a manager riding the hot hand.

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