Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Prospectus Notebook: Thursday Edition

Chipper to… First base?

With Betemit playing well and Andy Marte waiting in Richmond until he can permanently seize the third base job, Jones’s inevitable shift down the defensive spectrum has been accelerated. First base looks to be an inviting target for Jones, whose still-potent bat, lack of defensive ability and proclivity for injury seem to make him a good fit for the position. Adam LaRoche has put up decent numbers at first: .275/.337/.478 in 247 at-bats, good for a 0.105 marginal lineup value rate. When you adjust for the premium offensive position LaRoche plays, however, his value rate drops to 0.060, just 15th best among NL first basemen; the fact that LaRoche is strictly the left handed side of a platoon also limits his value. With 11 home runs and 52 RBIs this year, LaRoche could fetch valuable parts for GM John Schuerholz in trade if Jones consents to play first… Left field also seemed a possible destination for one of the three Atlanta third basemen, but Kelly Johnson, called up from Richmond on May 29 to replace Raul Mondesi, has put an end to that idea.