The Braves don’t have the speed demon that teams like to put at the top of their lineup. But with Escobar and Kotsay, who owns a .337 career on-base percentage, they have two guys who can provide regular run-producing opportunities for Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira.
Johnson produced a .372 on-base percentage in 76 games as the leadoff hitter last year and might have at least shared that role with Escobar if Kotsay hadn’t arrived. But my guess is that the Braves will put him in the eighth spot with the hope that he’ll get on base consistently and give pitchers numerous sacrifice opportunities.
“Regular run-producing opportunities” with a .337 career OBP that probably won’t be that high post-surgery? Keeping the guy with the higher OBP eighth so that the pitchers can sacrifice more often? (Bunts delenda est!) I wouldn’t be upset if this wasn’t Peanut, who presumably has Wren’s hand up his back the way he used to have Schuerholz’s.