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Atlanta Braves to Alternate Starts in Third Base Competition

February 21st, 2013 at 11:08 PM
By Cody Fields

Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson will compete in Spring Training to see who will fill the next Atlanta Braves third baseman. Manager Fredi Gonzalez will alternate the pair's stats every day in an even bout to determine the starter, braves.com reports.

The Braves could end up platooning Johnson and Francisco if neither of them make their case, but Gonzalez is obviously hoping to have a clear cut starter on Opening Day.

"The best case, maybe one of those guys wins the job, which is OK," Gonzalez said. "It's open for that also. I think Spring Training will take care of that."

Francisco hit .234 with nine home runs in 93 games last season. The Braves were disappointed that he didn't show up a few pounds lighter than they had hoped, and his lifetime average against lefties is a putrid .190.

Johnson hit .281 with 15 homers in 136 games between the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012. The main concern for him is his subpar defense.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Chris Johnson, Juan Francisco, MLB

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