Rob Johnson‘s first hit as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals was a home run. The Butte native hit the blast in a March 6 spring training game against Miami.
Johnson’s bat hasn’t heated up yet, but the sample size is relatively small. He is batting .200 through his first 20 at bats with the Cardinals this spring.
He has appeared in 20 games and hit two doubles and a single to go along with the home run. Johnson also scored five runs and stole a base. Johnson’s best game was a 2-for-3, two-double effort March 8 against Washington.
Johnson, 30, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2004, appeared in the big leagues in parts of five seasons in Seattle. He played for the San Diego Padres in 2011 and the New York Mets last year. He signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals with an invitation to spring training in November.
Tony Cruz, 26, and Yadier Molina, 30, are currently the only two catchers on the Cardinals’ active roster, meaning Johnson could start the season in the minors. The Cardinals open the season April 1 at Arizona.