From today's Chronicle:
"Twice in the past three days -- both times Thomas has played -- Macha has used what looks like a good bet for Opening Night (Swisher and Payton in, Johnson out), though he would not confirm that."
This makes no sense to me. If this is Macha's approach it's going to be a frustrating season. It's a rote L-R move that isn't supported by past performance. Last season's OPS versus lefties:
I could buy an argument for starting Swisher over Payton to give a young guy a chance to demonstrate that he's improved his approach from the right side. But it would be absurd to sit Johnson just because he's left-handed. He has a chance to be a 25 HR/100 RBI guy with a nice OBP, but they seem intent on not handing him an everyday job.
If they really want the best lineup against a lefty, they should go with Kielty, Kotsay, and Bradley in the OF, Johnson at 1B and Thomas as DH. But I'm OK with either Swisher or Payton in LF - just don't sit Johnson!