To say the Arizona Diamondbacks have had their fair share of struggles at the hot corner this season is an understatement.
Before acquiring Chris Johnson, who has belted two home runs in his first three games with the D-backs, manager Kirk Gibson tried quite a few different players at the position.
According to baseballreference.com, the Diamondbacks had seven different starters at third base so far this season. Ryan Roberts, who has since got traded to Tampa Bay, played the majority of games (83) at third. Tatman struggled to recapture the late-inning heroics he experienced last season, hitting a mere .235 with seven home runs and 36 RBI in 307 plate appearances.
Besides Roberts, Josh Bell, Geoff Blum, Cody Ransom, Willie Bloomquist and Ryan Wheeler all took turns at the position. Bell played in 21 games and hit just .173 with one home run and four RBI. Blum and Ransom both suited up for 17 contests, with Blum hitting .143 with zero home runs and one RBI while Ransom batted .269 with four homers and 13 RBI before getting traded to Milwaukee. Wheeler only played seven games at third base, hitting .188 with zero home runs and one RBI. Bloomquist started 11 games at third this season, with a fielding percentage of .963 but is more natural in the middle of the field.
John McDonald also played in three games at the position, totaling for 5.2 innings without a start.
The lack of production from a true third baseman was astounding and the D-backs needed to upgrade the position significantly with a player who could hit for average and power if they wanted to contend for a playoff spot down the stretch.
It looks like they’ve found their man in Johnson, who has showed great promise in the small sample size of games he’s participated in as a member of the Diamondbacks.
For the season, Johnson is hitting .287 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI.