Johnson Could Be Hot Commodity

Friday, April 18, 2008

New Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson has turned many heads at Wrigley Field and is starting to build a fan base. He is hitting .375 with 7 RBI and an OBP of .422 in thirteen games this season. He is taking a lot of time away from Felix Pie, who is struggling to make solid contact at the plate. Pie is currently working with Piniella and other coaches to shorten his swing, hoping that is the change that would send him to stardom. Pie was a career .300 hitter with 51 homeruns in 546 career minor league games, but has experience in the playoffs at each level. One problem scouts believe is slowing his development is that he had a natural power hitter swing when they signed him and tried to convert him to an on base guy because of his speed. If Pie can develop a short, consistent swing and start making solid contact with the ball, the Cubs might give him the regular job in center and shop Reed Johnson to a different contender around the deadline.

Johnson is very versatile though, and could easily slot in at left field if Alfonso Soriano is still out. I see Johnson as a Kenny Lofton like player if he can stay hot-someone who will be traded at the deadline for more than he is worth. However, he makes for a great fourth outfielder if Pie and Soriano continue to struggle.


KevinGillman 8:49 PM CDT  

okay, Johnson has experience leading off and can play Center, so why didn't the Cubs call up Matt Murton and put Johnson in the leadoff spot?

Anonymous 11:53 PM CDT  

eli you come up with the craziest stuff. why would the cubs consider trading him even if pie is tearing it up. they signed him to be a back up right handed hitting outfielder who could play all three spots. nothing has changed since then besides he is playing well. 100% no chance he gets traded. he fits exactly what hendry wanted when he signed him.

Anonymous 4:39 AM CDT  

I agree, he means well but sometimes he just makes up off the wall stuff that is just absurd.

KevinGillman 5:14 PM CDT  

none of you guys answered my question, why did Eric Patterson get called up and not Matt Murton when Johnson can easily lead off?

Anonymous 6:31 PM CDT  

personally i think that hendry wanted murton to put up some good numbers in AAA to increase his value rather than have him hit .240 off the bench in the majors. I think hendry will try and use murton for somthing bigger at the deadline. I guess it really doesn't matter now that patterson looked terrible and is already back in AAA.

KevinGillman 10:22 PM CDT  

Wow that quickly? He just got called up Friday, but Lou doesn't like prospects, does he?

Anonymous 10:06 AM CDT  

no he likes prospects, but they have to play fundemental baseball and show a lot of hustle. (theriot, fontenot, hart, soto) all got big shots from piniella last year

Anonymous 3:11 PM CDT  

they called up patterson because of his versatility and speed. and they wanted another left handed bat. not to mention, although murton is off to a good start - he didnt have any extra base hits in AAA this year. a bunch of singles and walks.