An Open Letter to the Atlanta Braves On the State of Second Base

Bobby Mercado Contributor IMay 5, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 09:  Second baseman Kelly Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Bravesthrows to first against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 9, 2008 at Dodger Stadiium in Los Angeles, California.   The Dodgers won 2-1.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

To whom it may concern:

It was once decided that moving the great Kelly Johnson from left field would dramatically improve the Braves' infield. Working with Glenn Hubbard, Johnson would learn the defensive intangibles necessary for such a demanding position, and would make up for any deficiencies with his bat... Wrong!!!!

Kelly Johnson, year in and year out, is said to be just about ready to explode; he hit 28 home runs in two years.

It is consistently said he is getting better at plate discipline and could take care of the leadoff spot. He has 22 stolen bases in his career, and his OBP has never been above .375.

We are told his defense is improving, he has made as many errors as he has hit home runs, and his fielding percentage is below the league average.

I know it takes a lot to wake up Bobby Cox--lord knows he is on death's door--but please do something. We are way past "he's young," "in a slump," or "he's getting bad breaks."

Bobby Cox is an amazing manager, but the one thing he does is give his players a little bit of rope to play with. The problem is Kelly has taken that rope and somehow managed to hogtie himself.

Kelly is now hitting .208.

Kelly's fielding percentage is the lowest of his career.

Kelly is no longer a cheap young option (he makes $2.8 million!!!).

Let's try something new, like Omar Infante, or letting Yunel lead-off, or just run a special where the 1,982nd fan through the door plays second base for the night.

It is hard to admit your wrong. I never do it, but this time Braves, you're wrong. Let's move forward.


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