For twenty years the Atlanta Braves had no worries about who was manning third base. Chipper Jones was that guy unless he went to the outfield to willingly give the spot up for someone who was usually decent at the hot corner as well. The Braves will retire Chipper’s jersey on Friday and there is little doubt that there will be about a billion people there to see the Braves legendary third baseman officially retiring the Braves number 10. However there will be an undercurrent of uncertainty at the same time around the Braves current third base situation.
Ironically enough, as they honor the best third baseman in franchise history, the Braves will be continuing to search for more options currently for third base. Chris Johnson has one of the highest batting averages on the team but there are concerns in other areas. They are reportedly a little let down by his defense at third and it is beginning to be an issue with the season ending shoulder injury that Ramiro Pena suffered.
Rumor has it they might be looking for other suitors for third base for the second half of the season. Whether that will be someone to take the position the majority of the time or platoon is unknown. Johnson’s lack of overall run production might be a big enough concern for them to consider someone able to take a good bit of the playing time. Time will tell as it usually does but I wonder how many Braves officials, coaches and fans wish Chipper would just lace ‘em up for the rest of the season. I know I do.