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.