I admit I was a bit surprised when A's manager Bob Geren announced a week or so ago that Nick Swisher would be the everyday first baseman, with some combo of Shannon Stewart and Bobby Kielty sharing left field. What, Ben Grieve and Terrence Long weren't available? The result was Johnson wouldn't play much. That changed with today's news that Mark Kotsay and his oft-troubled back will need surgery, putting him on the proverbial shelf for a few months, and it opens up a spot for Johnson at first base (with Milton Bradley switching over to center field and Swisher heading to right field).
Look, players can't perform and pile on the stats if they don't get opportunity, but not all of these cases turn out so great. I'd like to know why Johnson went from very interesting fantasy sleeper off his 2005 production (15 homers, terrific walk-K rate in 375 at-bats) to forgotten, powerless minor leaguer essentially being replaced by Shannon Stewart, who is neither durable nor productive, and destined to disappoint.