5 Burning Questions to be Resolved

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Q2: What’s on Second…or Third?

As the off-season began, the Braves traded away Tommy La Stella.  Okay, I could understand that… we still had a more-versatile Philip Gosselin, with the likelihood that Jose Peraza would be along soon… maybe even earlier than we thought.

So naturally we’ve now added two more players would can handle second… or third.

“Who’s on second?”
“No, Who’s on first?”
“I don’t know.”
“Third base!”

Let’s look at the candidates:

  • Phil Gosselin.  The Braves prefer to leverage his ability to play all infield positions, plus both outfield corners.  Additionally, he runs well and has a good hitting tool, so expect Gosselin to be the first infielder off the bench late in games.
  • Jace Peterson.  Will have a chance to be the regular second baseman.  Bats Lefty.  Hit very well in AA/AAA with great OBP numbers.
  • Alberto Callaspo.  Switch hitter.  At 32 years old (April), his chance of beating out Peterson will depend on the latter’s hitting in Spring.  What’s more possible is (a) situational pinch-hitter; and/or (b) platoon candidate with Chris Johnson.  In 2014, he hit better as a lefty, but that wasn’t true going further back into his career.
  • Chris Johnson.  Hit .395 vs. Lefty pitching in 2014.  Three ninety-five.  But just .231 vs. right-handers.  That stat alone will probably cost him a bunch of playing time in 2015 unless he can figure out how to make it closer to .299 (Johnson’s 2013 rate vs. RHP).

I smell one of those ‘going with the hot hand’ scenarios with Fredi for third base.  Regardless, this combination does give Fredi Gonzalez a bunch of options on his roster/bench:

  • Lefty hitters:  Peterson, Callaspo, Bethancourt, Pierzynski (depending on who’s catching), Almonte
  • Righty hitters:  Gosselin, Johnson, Callaspo, Almonte, Gattis (depending on who’s in left field)

Ah, Left Field… there’s another topic.  Hit NEXT to continue>>>