Jun 23, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer makes a diving catch of ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Jeff Bianchi (not pictured) in the 6th inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Can Terdoslavich Replace Schafer?


After recently suffering an ankle injury and listed as day-to-day, Jordan Schafer was finally put on the 15 day DL when it became clear the right ankle contusion wasn’t going to heal as quickly as hoped for.  After the initial injury, and listed as day-to-day, Schafer came into game 1 of the current series against the Marlins to pinch hit.  He got a single, but ran with an obvious, painful hobble down the baseline.  Joey Terdoslavich has been on a tear in AAA Gwinnett, and has now been called up to the Big Show to help out while Jordan is on the DL.  Despite Terdo’s play this year though, Jordan’s stint on the DL could be a big loss as the Braves play out the rest of the first half.

Few Atlanta players have had such a tumultuous career in such a short time as Schafer has had.  He came up as a top prospect just four years ago, and after just 195 PAs, a wrist injury sidelined him until 2011.  He got into trouble with the law, showed a serious lack maturity, and was soon traded off to the Houston Astros in a deal that helped bring Michael Bourn to Atlanta.  His performance didn’t go so well in Houston either, but soon Atlanta showed a renewed interest in him and he was back on the field for Spring Training with the Braves this year.  Schafer has not let this opportunity slide by so easily this time.

Schafer hasn’t gotten nearly as much playing time as many believe he should have, but he’s made the most of it.  In just over 60 games played for Atlanta this year, Jordan has put together a line of .312/.399/.464, and despite little playing time, has managed to lead the team in stolen bases, and is one of the best defensive outfielders for the Braves.  I have argued all year that Jordan deserves more time in the lineup, and further argued that he is by far the best leadoff option for the Braves.  Many believe that it’s just a matter of time before we see the old, unreliable Jordan Schafer of the past, but you have to allow that people can change, and that a player can develop a hunger that leads them to do greater things than they’ve ever done.  When I watch Jordan play, I see a player with natural talent, hustle, and someone who appears hungry to stay on the straight and narrow he’s currently on.

My hope is that he will be given ample opportunity to prove that, but the fact is that at present, there is just nowhere for Jordan to play on a daily basis in the Atlanta lineup, at least under the current politics and situation.  Whether with Atlanta or not, I think Schafer is as good as many regular players on many teams, and deserves a chance to be a regular player.

Fans hope Joey Terdoslavich can fill the void left by two weeks without Schafer, and it’s pretty easy to make the argument that Joey is even better than Schafer.  Our staff writer Julien Benjamin pointed out that Joey has delivered a line of .322/.363/.574/.937, .407 wOBA, 150 wRC+ this year in AAA, with 18 HRs and 24 DBs. As a switch hitter, which is always a great thing for any team to have, he’s batted lefty with a line of .335/.370/.614/.984, with 17 HRs.  With a two week or more  opportunity to show whether he can bring his skills to the highest level, Joey could possibly even replace Schafer for the rest of the season.  That remains to be seen, but either way it’s great to have someone like Joey to fill the void left by Schafer’s absence.  It’s a pretty big void.

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  • fireboss

    Showcasing Joey might make him a fine trade chip for that bullpen piece. He’s blocked at first left and right and flopped at third so his future is likely elsewhere. Schafer is out of options and has to stay no one else has options save Gattis and I suspect he stays though an argument could be made that he needs to learn to call a game more accurately if Joey hits well enough, Still suspect JT is sought after enough to bring a good return.

    • cheadrick

      Yeah I kind of agree, with some of what you said. I think JT is a good option in a trade since he tried and failed everywhere but the outfield. I don’t know that I agree with doing that, but I know what the Braves tend to do, and the corner they’ve put themselves in.

      • fireboss

        If he could remember how to play third he could start there next year. Chipper needs to tutor him

        • cheadrick

          I know. That would be great! He reportedly can’t play 3rd or 1st very well, which is kind of strange. When I’ve seen him, he’s seemed athletic enough. Maybe he needs contacts too. ;)

          • fireboss

            JT for Will Middlebrooks…:)

          • cheadrick

            In 53 games, line of .192/.228/.389/.617 … ? Yeah, let’s do that. ;-)

          • fireboss

            Middlebrooks is still a kid who can play third well, doesn’t strike out and had an OBP at or above 350 throughout the minors. Never gonna be a slugger but really, do we need a slugger or would a nice high OBP guy work for you. Did I say he’s a good third defensive baseman too… I did? Okay :) I’d love Nolan Arenado but I’m guessing the Rox won’t swap him …

          • cheadrick

            I dunno. He used to strike out alot, and has fixed some of that, at the cost of a drop in avg. I suppose his defensive skills make up for that, but he’s had swing issues, and is a touch of a risk to me. Isn’t everyone? :) I could be wrong. We need someone who can actually play 3rd, and Will can definitely do that.

          • fireboss

            The Red Sox won’t do it yet. I predicted they’d be second in the East and if they smell post season they might do it for an arm but I dunno about JT. There’s a significant shortage of 3B now which is why Michael Young and Palanco and rookies without bats still have jobs there

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            Middlebrooks is still just 24. I would do that trade in a heartbeat.

        • Brandon

          Him playing third is what led to his miserable season last year, completely killed his confidence. I wish he could play third too but I doubt they are going to try to put that on him again. He’s an amazing hitter besides last year, extremely underrated, I would take him over shafer just because his minor league numbers have been incedible because his 2012 campaign, and that was caused by a lack of confidence at third base.

          • fireboss

            He won’t play third again however Schafer can play all three outfield positions Joey is a corner guy. One (or both) of them is trade bait

          • cheadrick

            Yeah, that was the first thing that went through my head when they brought Terdo up….. Wait! He’s a corner guy. It’s not like the Braves won’t play him somewhere else, but while he might offensively replace Jordan, he won’t defensively. I think you’re right…. Trade Bait.

          • cheadrick

            Alan pointed out that with Ramiro and Schafer gone, maybe the Braves really do just need the help, and if TD is only an outfield corner guy, they may just need him to help pinch off the bench. Maybe he’s not bait after all??

          • fireboss

            I saw Alan’s reasoning and agree with most of it. The futures game won’t give him that big a showcase and teams like to know a player can hit major league pitching. Whatever the case Schafer is out of options, so he stays when he returns. Can we carry 3 backup outfielders and 2 backup catchers on out bench? Nope Have to keep Rev and/or Janish so something has to give. Saw folks moaning the R Johnson wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do; hit lefties. That’s odd because his slash is 297/333/378. he was never a slugger but he is the guy that hits lefties off the bench. Also the easiest to forget with all the hype around the younger guys

          • cheadrick

            Yeah, and I don’t believe TJ can play in the Future’s Game now that he got the callup. That he got picked is good for his resume’, but don’t think he’ll get to play.