Gibson sticking with Johnson at No. 2 spot

Gibson sticking with Johnson at No. 2 spot

Gibson sticking with Johnson at No. 2 spot
SAN DIEGO -- Despite Kelly Johnson's season-long slump, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he does not plan on dropping the second baseman in the order.

In his 27 starts this year, Johnson has hit leadoff four times, second 22 times and third once.

"He's my No. 2 hitter right now," Gibson said. "He's been good for us in the past and I do think that it's important to stick with him."

Johnson hit .284 with 26 homers and 71 RBIs a season ago, but he entered Friday's game hitting .175 and had two hits in his last 18 at-bats.

With that in mind, Gibson was asked if it wouldn't make more sense to hit Johnson lower in the order.

"You can pick any other spot in the order and it's bound to find you," Gibson said, referring to a crucial situation. "If you're struggling, it's going to find you."

True, but it was pointed out to Gibson that the No. 2 hitter in the order gets more at-bats typically than, say, a seventh or eighth hitter.

"You can dice it any way you want to for your convenience, whatever you want to write," Gibson said. "I know he's pressing a bit. There's only one way to get out of it. You can either run from it or you can keep battling and battling."

And for now, at least, it appears that battle will take place from the No. 2 spot in the lineup.