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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Braves Injury Update: Chris Johnson leaves with back strain

By on 9/25/2014 09:15:00 AM

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson made an early exit during Wednesday's win, with the team announcing that a lower back strain was the reason for Johnson's removal:
Johnson came out of the game before the top of the sixth, with Phil Gosselin replacing him at third.'s Mark Bowman spoke to Johnson after the game, with the third baseman saying he hoped to be available to play on Thursday. Like the vast majority of teams now, Atlanta does not have anything left to play for, so even if the injury is very mild, it would be surprising if they risked anything with Johnson.

After contending for the NL batting title last season, Johnson has seen a huge dip in his production in 2014 and has joined most of the Braves offense in performing well below expectations. His .265/.295/.360 line is the worst of his career. As he has done throughout his time in the big leagues, Johnson has still managed to sustain a well above-average BABIP at .347, but even that hasn't prevented him from being a well below-replacement level player this year at -1.3 WAR, per Baseball-Reference. The 29-year-old is not a good enough defender to get away with hitting this poorly and the Braves really need a rebound from him in 2015 to warrant continued playing time.

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