Daily Dodger in review: Reed Johnson pretty much the role player, as advertised
REED JOHNSON, 33, outfielder
Final 2010 stats: .262, two home runs, 15 RBI, 24 runs, .291 on-base percentage, .366 slugging percentage in 202 at-bats.
Contract status: Free agent.
The good: Brought in partially for his defense, he did not commit an error in 100 chances. Played all three outfield positions. Hit .301 against left-handers and .300 at home. As a pinch hitter, went 7-for-24 with a pair of doubles and RBI. Solid in the clubhouse.
The bad: Against right-handed pitching, hit just .222. Faded in the second half, batting .213. Strained his perennial bad back and went on the disabled list for 21 games (July 9-Aug. 4). Doesn’t make up for lack of power with speed on the bases (two steals).
What’s next: Since he’s a free agent, there are no guarantees he’ll return, and his play didn’t exactly make a loud case for it. He turns 34 next month. He's a local product (Temecula) and inexpensive ($800,000 last season), so we may not have seen the last of him.
The take: Johnson doesn’t figure to be a high priority for the Dodgers this winter. Should they decide to bring him back, it will likely be late when all the other pieces have fallen into place.
Though he did little to really distinguish himself, he pretty much provided what the Dodgers were expecting -- solid hitting against left-handers and reliable defense.
Unlike most of the rest of other backup outfielder candidates (Jay Gibbons, Trent Oeltjen, Scott Podsednik, Xavier Paul) he does bat right-handed, which counts for something.
-- Steve Dilbeck