As much of a fan of Dan Johnson as I was last year, I hate to say that he is the weak link on this year's team and may have to be moved (if he has any trade value). But, is he next year's Justin Morneau? Does any other team want to take that chance. Morneau's first year in 2004 looks eerily similar to Johnson's 2005 . . .
Morneau 74G 280AB 19HR .271AVG .340OBP .875OPS
Johnson 109G 375AB 15HR .275AVG .355OBP .806OPS
How about Morneau 2005 vs. Johnson projected 2006
Morneau 141G 490AB 22HR .239AVG .304OBP .741OPS
Johnson 140G 470AB 14HR .243AVG .333OBP .716OPS
And what if DJ bounces back like Morneau has this year through 78 games
Morneau 78G 289AB 22HR .298AVG .350OBP .931OPS
So if we agree that being in first place at the All-Star break despite all of our injuries is a good sign and that we have a legitimate shot to win it this year and that DJ may be our weak link, what do we do about it?
Do we trade his potential for a more experienced first basemen that would strike fear into the Yankees-Red Sox-Angels-White Sox and can help us win this year? Who would be available not on a contending team?
Nick Johnson-Craig Wilson-anyone scared?
The pickings seem slim since so many teams still have a chance, especially in the NL.
Maybe the best alternative is to stand pat with Swisher playing some first and trotting out a line-up of Kotsay-Kielty-Bradley-Payton-Swisher-Johnson depending on the pitching match-up.
If Cincinnati fell out of it soon it could be a Dunn deal.