Kelly Johnson looked like he had reached the end of the line when he couldn't stick with any of three AL East clubs in 2014, but the NL East suited him better last year. He found his power stroke as a platoon outfielder with the Braves in the first half of the year and remained productive as a utility player for the Mets thereafter. Of course, he didn't have an everyday role at either stop, which is sort of the plight of the middling left-handed hitter, but he's again in line for at least part time at-bats with the Braves, who brought him back to platoon with Adonis Garcia at third base. It's enough to earn him some late looks in NL-only leagues.
Johnson agreed to a one-year deal with the Braves on Wednesday, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports. Entering his age-34 season, it is fitting that Johnson will play what could be his final year in a significant role with the team that he spent the first five years of his career with. He slashed .265/.314/.435 with 14 home runs in 335 plate appearances split between the Braves and the Mets last season, so there is the potential for some deep league value here. Johnson was an ultimate utility player last year, seeing double-digit games at first base, second base, third base and left field, and he should be used in a similar fashion in 2016. He will be appealing in fantasy due to his eligibility at second base.
Johnson is not in the lineup for Game 2 of the World Series. Johnson registered just one at-bat in Game 1 before giving way to Michael Cuddyer who promptly struck out all three times he stepped to the plate. It's likely the 33-year-old will make a pinch-hit appearance at some point during the contest, but daily players shouldn't expect the veteran to register many at-bats in Game 2.
Johnson will take on DH duties for the Mets in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at Kansas City, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports. Johnson has fared well in his career against the Royals' Game 1 starter, Edinson Volquez, posting a .286 batting average, one double, two RBI, and three walks. The appointment by manager Terry Collins will likely only last one game, as left-handed hitters (this includes Johnson) put together a miserable .215 average against Game 2 starter Johnny Cueto this season.
Mets second baseman Kelly Johnson had one hit in six at-bats on Thursday against the Phillies, but it was a key hit. Johnson launched a game-tying, solo home run in the fifth inning, knotting the score up at 5-5. The Mets would go on to win the game 9-5 in 13 innings. The home run was Johnson's third since coming over in a trade at the end of July. He has been mired in a bit of a slump recently, as he was 6 for his last 24 coming into play on Thursday.
Playing in his first game with the Mets, Kelly Johnson went 2 for 6 with a solo home run in the 15-2 thrashing of the Dodgers on Saturday. Johnson started at second base and hit cleanup in his Mets debut, and he belted his ninth home run in the fifth inning. He also singled and scored earlier in the game as part of an impressive start with his new club. Johnson has been hitting the ball well lately, batting .324 with three home runs over his past 10 games.
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