Newly acquired Johnson joins D-backs for opener

Newly acquired Johnson joins D-backs for opener

LOS ANGELES -- Newly acquired third baseman Chris Johnson got a crash course in the D-backs' signs from coach Matt Williams in the middle of the clubhouse on Monday afternoon.

It was just one of the many things that Johnson was working to get comfortable with after coming over from the Astros on Sunday.

"I have to keep my phone plugged in, because it's dying, people are calling all the time," said Johnson, who batted seventh and started at third base in the opener against the Dodgers. "A lot of new information I'm trying to process right now. Just trying to stay relaxed. It's the same game, but I'm excited to be here."

Johnson made a rapid rise in the standings. The Astros were 27 games out of first place in the National League Central, while the D-backs are just 4 1/2 games back of the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West.

"These guys have a good ballclub, a lot of guys in here that are proven players that I can learn from and a proven coaching staff I can learn from," Johnson said. "Since I was called up in Houston we haven't really been in contention over there, so this is my first time being in that sort of situation. I'm excited to go after it every night and try to make up some ground."

Johnson figures to get the bulk of the playing time at third base for now, but the D-backs will also try and work rookie Ryan Wheeler in there as well.