Johnson likely in mix at third base for 2013

Johnson likely in mix at third base for 2013

Johnson likely in mix at third base for 2013
DENVER -- Since coming over from the Astros in a late July trade, third baseman Chris Johnson has been really good, not so good and really good again.

"He's been a little bit streaky," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said of Johnson. "But when he's hot, he's hot."

In his first 11 games with the D-backs, Johnson hit .333 with five home runs.

Over his next 15 games he hit .103 with no homers.

And in his last 13 games entering Saturday night's contest with the Rockies, Johnson was hitting .408 with a pair of home runs.

"He's performed very, very well," Towers said. "He's hit for power. He's got a nice arm over there and he's made most of the defensive plays. To have that kind of power bat that deep in the lineup. Not many clubs in the National League are that deep and have someone hitting in the seven-hole that's got a chance to pretty much hit the ball out of any part of the ballpark."

Johnson is eligible for salary arbitration in the offseason and Towers said that whatever Johnson figures to make in the process won't be hindrance to bringing him back.

It also sounds like next year's starting third baseman will come from the group of Johnson, Ryan Wheeler and Matt Davidson, who played for Double-A Mobile this year and will participate in this year's Arizona Fall League.

"I think defense still probably needs to improve a little bit, but for a young kid he nailed it fairly well at Double-A and [has a] great power bat," Towers said. "Reminds me a little bit of [Phil] Nevin, body type, his approach, everything. He's somebody we don't think is that far away."