10:06 am December 6, 2010, by David O'Brien
December 6th, 201010:08 am
He better bring it this ST because MATT YOUNG is going to be some serious competition for the fourth OF slot.
Coach (2011 and Fredi G. a GO!)
December 6th, 201010:10 am
If Jordan Schafer is one hundred percent during all of spring training, he’s gonna beat out McLouth for the CF job, and that’s a good thing
December 6th, 201010:14 am
I hope he’s ready and all fired up. Seriously. We need a 4th outfielder for heaven’s sake.
December 6th, 201010:17 am
I’m hoping that KK is traded by the conclusion of the Winter Meetings.
I feel like I’ve heard this before. No way does Schafer win the starting spot in spring training.
Braves Fan in Illinois
It’s gonna be another good year in Atlanta. I can feel it.
December 6th, 201010:18 am
Not much left to say about Schafer except, “Show me.”
Thanks for the writeup, DOB.
From other blog
Gonna give you some stats for 2 players over the past 7 to 8 years, you tell me who they belong to.
Player 1’s career averages.
.272 batting average with 25 homers and 85 RBI’s, .848 OPS
Player 2’s career averages.
.265 Batting average with 25 homers and 82 RBI’s, .841 OPS
Can you tell me who those stats belong to and which one of those players just got a huge contract and which one is a guy they are about to trade to make room for him?
December 6th, 201010:19 am
Great article DOB. Amazing how vulnerable the wrist can be, especially to younger players. During the most recent season and even in the Arizona Fall League, it was clear the big impact on Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman of supposedly minor wrist injuries. Few may remember that Omar Infante had major hand/wrist fractures from errant pitches in 2008 and 2009; last year he played without getting such an injury and voila, an average over .320. Then, of course, there is the example of Jayson Werth, who sustained a broken wrist about seven years ago while with the Dodgers. This after he had already broken out with a good season and a big playoff performance. After the Dodgers non-tendered him, the Phillies got him and we know how good he became, but it took three years for him to recover fully from the wrist.
December 6th, 201010:20 am
I hope he’s as healthy as they seem to think, adding more power and speed to the line up is ALWAYS a good thing.
Oh and 3rd.
December 6th, 201010:21 am
FOURTH outfielder? Sheesh..we need a THIRD outfielder. I cringe at the thought of Nate in the lineup.
Fawesome SONG, love, love “The Clash”
also listened to this Aussie classic this morning = http://youtu.be/2cRODgXnIlU
DOB, thanks for the excellent work.
I’m guessing the intensity meter is clicking in the red zone when Prado and Schafer work out together. Good for them both…they might be outfield mates pretty soon.
December 6th, 201010:22 am
As always, thanks for the news DOB.
Someone posted that Jayson Werth broke his wrist some years ago and didn’t become a good hitter until THREE years later. I don’t know if Schafer will ever be as good as Werth, but it’s a good reminder that we have to be very patient after certain injuries.
Given the Braves needs in the OF, it really will be great if Schafer can contribute in 2011 and keep improving in the years ahead.
December 6th, 201010:23 am
R.I.P. Dandy Don Meredith – I always admired how the strongest word he used in the interview moments after the Ice Bowl was “dadgum”…
December 6th, 201010:25 am
I remember you writing a similar piece about Schafer last year at this time. I won’t believe it until I see it.
just dont see how he’ll win the job. He’ll go to ST and compete, but there is no chance he wins the 4th OF job. He hasnt played regularly since 2007. If Nate struggles and gets released somehow then he may get the opening day CF job. If not, they’ll want him playing everyday instead of sitting on the bench
December 6th, 201010:28 am
Maybe now TommyP and Ward will realize that Lastings Milledge is not an option.
A healthy Schafer would mitigate a world of problems for the Braves. At the very least, he’s the best defensive CF we’ve had in the organization since Andruw beached himself.
Funny thing…medically, an HGH injection would probably have been a good option to help regain strength in Schafer’s wrist. Sad that is not an option if performed under Dr.’s care.
December 6th, 201010:29 am
unbel;ievable – Even if he doesn’t start the season in Atlanta and does, indeed, need some time at Gwinnett, we’ll only need someone who can come in for a sorter time period and considering Nate will have some time to prove himself, it could work out just right.
Eric in Tampa
December 6th, 201010:30 am
So, Peter Gammons just made a brief statement on Dan Patrick show that, among teams who might have interest in Greinke, the Rangers make the most sense, but the Braves could be too. I imagine the Dayton Moore tie to the Braves is about as far as that reality goes…
Anyone know how many options Schafer has left at this point ? If he is as healthy as it seems he will need to be getting AB’s every day. Other than an injury to an outfielder I can’t see a way he goes north with the team out of spring training. Let’s hope he has one option left so he can start the season in the minors and either force his hand to the major (ideal situation) or take the place of injured/underperforming CF’s.
Schefter will be the boost the braves need to get them back into the playoffs since we won’t be counting on mclowth. I still think we need to re-sign Melky!
O.J. You would be referring to Jayson Werth and Josh Willingham.
But yes, Werth’s contract with the Nationals is simply insane. Just you wait… when he’s 37/38 and struggling to put up 15-20 HR’s and 75-80 RBI while pulling down 18 million per season.
December 6th, 201010:31 am
if schafer is on the big league team it wont be for fourth outfielder. that does not make sense to bring a guy up who hasnt had a lot of time the last couple years to be a fourth outfielder. if hes up, he will be the starter. otherwise he will be in gwinnett getting daily at bats for if mclouth struggles.
The A Bomb
December 6th, 201010:33 am
Come on DOB…. the media finds all sorts of “controversial” stuff on Tiger Woods, Roger Clemens, Cam Newton etc…..
Can’t anyone find one FREAKING morsel on Kawakami???
If Schafer is finally healthy then I have no doubt he will take over CF sometime in 2011. He is a .260/.340/.450 type bat with elite level range and arm in center with 20+ SB ablity.
Wrist injuries are so tough on hitters it still makes me nervous for Schafer in 2011, but if he is 100% we could just he gifted the biggest addition of the offseason – even more dare I say than one year of Uggla.
chopshop – Options should NOT be a problem for Schafer. He’s only been to the bigs once, so he should have two years worth of options left.
December 6th, 201010:34 am
OJ – Werth and Willingham
Certainly, confidence has never been an issue for Schafer, and he’s reputed to be the baseball equivalent of a gym rat, so no question about his work ethic (in fact, I’d probably be a little concerned he’ll overwork, but surely someone is monitoring that).
Still, he hasn’t faced good pitching on a daily basis for a long time, or dealt with the fatigue that comes from playing every day. I think you have to see him against AAA for a couple-three hundred ABs to get a read on that, regardless of his ST performance.
Good article, minus all the build-up. Sure, let’s see what he can do. A healthy YOUNG outfielder with some talent is certainly needed, but this kid needs to earn his stripes. Alas, he’s also a left-handed center fielder.
If McLouth can play he needs to start in center and let Schafer log some time in Gwinnett. Pretty easy to call him up if Nate gets off to a slow start. If Nate can play and Schafer proves to be ready it would be a lot easier to trade Schafer. McLouth doesn’t strike me as a guy who would help much coming off the bench, except to pinch run.
December 6th, 201010:35 am
Good to hear on Schafer. If he is truly healthy then he could compete for a job. But theres something to be said about all his off time. His timing could be way off and it may be June or so before he has his timing back.
Schafer has only been in the Majors in 2009, so he should have two options left. Plenty of time for him to develop and for the Braves to be patient with him.
Are they trading Willingham, why?
He played a good LF last year and Werth is at right?
December 6th, 201010:36 am
Also, if Chipper is injured and Prado has to play 3rd, Schafer and McLouth can play LF/CF.
December 6th, 201010:37 am
Anyone know how many options Schafer has left at this point ?
Non-roster invitee in 2009, so he was added to the 40-man then. Optioned in 2009, and optioned in 2010, so one option left, I guess.
Pat Gillick elected to the Hall of Fame.
December 6th, 201010:39 am
Also, if Chipper is injured and Prado has to play 3rd, Schafer and McLouth can play LF/CF. – Longtime
and the Braves are praying right now that they get 130 games from Chipper
Put Jordan in CF in AAA and leave him there until say end August regardless of his performace and if gr8 then call him up.. if he hits leadoff he would get 400 AB or more
December 6th, 201010:40 am
I agree that Schafer needs to and will, in all likelihood, spend some time at Gwinnett, but just knowing he’s close to being ready and only a half hour away will make the beginning of the season much more comfortable, even if Nate remains Nately.
At the very least, I think that everyone can put away the “Let’s go get thisguy cause he’s cheap and MIGHT come back to be the player he once was” rumors.
Nah, there will still be someone who insists Lastings Milledge will be a Brave and believe he’ll not only be here, but for the MLB minimum. Right.
December 6th, 201010:41 am
Great article DOB Thanks! I’d love to see Nate and Jordan battle out for a starting job. Maybe that will spark them both! I have a feeling Schafer is gonna have a good year. It’d be a perfect transition to go from Nate to Schafer since Nate will be a free agent next year. That would free up some money as well.
December 6th, 201010:42 am
Thought options only referred to up or down from the majors and he wasn’t in the majors last year. Does anyone really know how these damned things really work?
Any time a player is on the 40-man roster and NOT on the 25-man roster (or major league DL), he uses an option for that year.
Schafer has used options in 2009 and 2010. He has one remaining option.
December 6th, 201010:43 am
I’ve never felt this good going into spring training.
Doesn’t EVERYBODY come into ST in “the best shape of my life”, LOL?
Absolute gold from Peter Moylan’s latest blog entry. Sorry ladies, I know it’s a bit crude, but I couldn’t help but share this one:
Another great week, spent the morning assisting my best mate coach some under 16 state team kids at aI training session, it was nice to get back to grass roots and give a little something back, it was also fun seeing the boys faces light up when I arrived, i’m happy to report that the future of Australian baseball looks very good. Funny Story: The manager was talking about taking infield and explained to the boys that ” its all about ball management “. Of course my sick sense of humour just assumed that he was teaching these 14 and 15 year old kids how to use clippers on their nether regions!!!!!!! NO PETER what he meant was basically hit the cut off man, how wrong I was.
Sorry, ncscoots, didn’t see that you had already addressed the options issue.
December 6th, 201010:45 am
I love the smell of a new blog in the morning.
Great article DOB. Gives me some hope for the kid.
Look, if McLouth can rebound to 2009 productivity levels the Braves will be just fine. There is cause for concern due to his lack of making contact, yes, but I suspect last year was more attributable to the slow start and the injury than not.
Options refer to any time a player spends in the minor leagues while on the 40-man roster, EXCEPT for rehab assignments. So even though Schafer saw no time in the majors in 2010, the fact that he was on the 40-man roster meant he used an option for that year.
Hey, RC, don’t mind me. Get that info out there, brother. Some people scroll right past me, you know.
Big B CH 99
December 6th, 201010:46 am
Unless he beats Nate out for the Starting CF job, they’ll send Schafer to Gwinnett so he can play everyday and get some AB’s. He’s a young kid that needs as many AB’s as he can get, they’re not gonna keep him on the big league roster to ride the bench as a 4th OF.
December 6th, 201010:48 am
MLBTR–speculates of a possible match between Braves and Brewers for CF prospect Lorenzo Cain. They admit speculation and not rumor.
December 6th, 201010:49 am
I know a lot of fans given up on Schafer because of the whole ‘top prospect’, then HGH, then demotion to minors, but come on give him a chance! HE’S STILL 24 YEARS OLD. heck he can be our own ‘colby rasmus’ without giving the cardinals anymore ‘wainwrights’
I think Nate may have something wrong w/ his right wrist, elbow, or shoulder. We all noted how many times he ate the ball and didn’t try to throw someone out. And the one time I saw him throw he threw a lollipop. The ball didn’t have anything on it, so I wonder if he’s been hurt, because he’s supposed to have a better arm than that.
DOB good read you managed to get me optimistic about Schafer.
However I need to see it to believe it. Matt Young should get a spot in the MLB roster as a bench player, Schafer should play in Gwinett if he kills AAA pitching and Mclouth struggles then they should call him up, but whatever the case is, Schafer needs to play everyday, in the minors or majors.
RC-Well, apparently some people DO know how the damned things work. Now I’m one of them – I think. Til next time anyway.
December 6th, 201010:50 am
Spring Training should be an elimination round for Schafer and McLouth both. Neither has impressed me as being a needed outfield big bat thus far. Cut ‘em after this trial run.
I agree with richbrave..Young is ready, Schafer better bring it.
Alleged use…didn’t he fail test…then whats alleged..sounds like proof to me.
December 6th, 201010:51 am
I don’t really see us trading for an outfielder unless we’re planning on trading Prado which I seriously doubt we’re planning on doing. As far as a CF goes, I do believe we’re probably stuck with (unfortuately) Mclouth. Although, if Schafer shows he’s ready and plays this ST as he did in 09 I think we could see Schafer in CF on opening day with Mclouth on the bench.
Big B- Not so sure it’s one of those injuries affecting Nate. I think it’s more a connection to his brain malfunctioning.
December 6th, 201010:53 am
No problem. It seems like everytime I figure out how waivers/options/arbitration works, they sign a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and chance the whole system.
Matt Young should get a spot in the MLB roster as a bench player,
Wouldn’t you like to see him take at least a couple of pitches in ST before signing off on that, LOL?
December 6th, 2010
You do realize Schafer is just 24 and well ahead of Werth at this point in his career. I’m pretty sure the Phillies are glad they didn’t give up on him at 24.
Unless Schafer tears up ST and I mean have another ‘09 ST, then he should start in AAA. If Mclouth struggles and Schafer is playing well then we may have an internal option to fill w/ out making a crazy trade. With that being said I’m hoping that Schafer has a great spring and shows everyone hes back. If he could reach his potential then our OF will look bright moving forward.
He didn’t fail a test – he was accused of consorting with others who used it. There is no test for HGH as it is a naturally occuring substance in the body.
isn’t the pirates looking for starting pitching? why can’t we ship him kawakami. he’d probably be the ace on that team!
What I don’t understand about Nate is why he stopped stealing bases effectively. Isn’t speed not supposed to slump? He was a 20 steal threat, and he didn’t even stole 10 this year.
December 6th, 201010:54 am
Count me in as a believer that JS can make it back and be a factor. I don’t think what we saw early in 2009 was fluke. Just a tough injury to deal with. Kid has pop, speed, and a gun for an arm. What’s not to like?
December 6th, 201010:55 am
No, he didn’t fail a test. Baseball has no test for HGH. He was alledgedly tied to people who were being investigated for selling HGH. The details were never really made clear, and it was pretty obvious from his public comments that MLB had ordered him not to talk about it under threat of addtional punishment.
Tomas – You have to actually be on base to steal second – something Nate hasn’t done much of since becoming a Brave.
December 6th, 201010:57 am
Thanks for the update on Schafer. I’ve been thinkjing about what he’s been up to recently. Can he keep his ego in check? I don’t know who will be worse in CF him or mclout, is there a plan c? If we can get rid of KK the braves lookj to be a major contender this season.
Btw, comments like that are why I for one appreciate that DOB makes it a point to use the word “allegedly” when refering to the situation. Anything less than that would be bad journalism.
December 6th, 201010:59 am
Faux- LIke I said before, Schafer can play some D if nothing else. No one better for the Braves in CF since Andruw left. Even if he doesn’t hit, he’d be a substantial improvement in the field.
I’m pulling and praying for you kid. We could use your energy and passion…. Good Luck !!! Anybody but Mcout…
And he’ll actually throw the ball.
December 6th, 201011:01 am
Good to see “6″ in the hotel lobby. Sans the 6 uni, of course. (Now that would be really interesting, if Bobby Cox was sitting in the hotel lobby in his uniform. Only Tommy Lasorda would every consider doing something like that.)
December 6th, 201011:02 am
How can someone be a journalist and so many typos in their article?!
Great story, though. I really hope Jordan can come back and be the player he was in 2009 ST.
To all Atlanta fans. don’t give up on shafer, i have a feeling he will be a big part of our future dynasty world series team. he’ll be the oldest of heyward, freeman, teheran, delgado, vizcaino, kimbrel. all are under 24.
I agree with you that Schafer would be a huge improvement in the field, but do you think there could be any negative long-term effects on his bat if he isn’t given more time in the minors?
I certainly don’t know the answer, but if it means that we can have a better Schafer starting in 2012 then I’m ok with giving him one more year to develop.
good to here that Schafer is getting back on track. Looking forward to seeing him in spring training. Hopefully if Schafer comes on strong it’ll inspire McLouth to get his crap together.
You guys are right, it is Willingham and Werth. Isnt that crazy how much Werth got when Josh puts up the same numbers? Granted Josh is a little more injury prone, but when the guy plays, he puts up the same numbers.
DOB, tell Bobby hello from Braves Nation!!
Fredi's Fu Manchu
December 6th, 201011:03 am
Don’t we all expect Chipper to be out beginning of season? Puts Prado at third, correct? That’s how Schafer makes the team.
December 6th, 201011:04 am
Maybe because it’s a blog and not an article? NO proofreaders and he has better things to do right now caue he’s waiting for news in Orlando? Becaue he wrote the blog on the fly because so many impatient idiots here can’t handle it if they respond on page 40?
December 6th, 201011:05 am
off topic, my birthday is this wednesday. i hope frank wren will make my birthday wishes come true by trading kk away, and possibly mclouth.
Some rumors floating that the Braves may be interested in an upcoming CF w/ the Brewers named Lorenzo Cain. Don’t know much about him. If anyone knows about this guy feel free to share.
Link to stats
Got a lot of pent up anger there, Lew? I didn’t know DOB had a blog body guard!
December 6th, 201011:06 am
One thing is for sure: it only takes a blog entry from O’Brien to turn the Schafer blog mojo around, LOL. I’ve seen more positive comments on the kid today than I have in the previous 18 months.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Braves go after Greinke if it involves Jair and a couple of mid level prospects (not an elite prospect). I like Jair, but he would be the younger pitcher I would part with first from those that have contributed so far (i.e. Hanson, Minor, Venters, etc.)
December 6th, 201011:07 am
RC – LIke I said, I fully expect him to get time t Gwinnett and not start in CF tilater. They’ve got to give Nate his chance for all the reasons we’ve gone over and over, so likely time in the minors shouldn’t be an issue.
However, knowing he’s there and ready if and when Nate tanks is comforting and even if he is required to move to Atlanta during the season, he will be a big improvement defensively even discounting any offensive help he might bring.
December 6th, 201011:08 am
hawaii – Would you maybe settle for a cake and some Ben and Jerry’s? Much more realistic expectation.
December 6th, 201011:09 am
what do you guys think of trading mclouth &venters or oflaherty for ellsbury? red sox needs lhp relivers
December 6th, 201011:10 am
MaconBraves – With the rotation we now have and the young pitchers they project into the rotation within the next year or two and all that $$$$ coming off the books in two years, I seriously doubt they will trade for Grienke or tender Jurrjens a long term contract.
December 6th, 201011:11 am
If we trade for Ellsbury, I wouldn’t want to see Venters go.
hawaii – I don’t think much of anything worthwhile about it. Ellsbury’s injured and Venters will compete fo closer in ATlanta. No one wants McLouth.
December 6th, 201011:12 am
If the Braves trade Venters or O’Flaherty, they will need LHP relievers too.
December 6th, 201011:13 am
At this point I’ll take JS sight unseen over McLouth. At least JS will attempt to throw a runner out. I’d take Ankiel back over McLouth.
Reid in EAV
My brother and I were amongst the few saying that as soon as Schafer was truly over that wrist injury, he’d be the Heyward-esque phenom we’d always expected. (We were, and are, voices in the wilderness, but I still believe it.) And Schafe had shown no signs of being truly over it, so his struggles were to be expected. I’m no Dr. James Andrews, but I do know that wrist injuries are amongst the hardest to recover from for ballplayers, particularly when they go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed for as long as his was.
That said, this is the first time he’s actually saying and acting that he’s truly over it. I hope, for our sake, that he’s right.
December 6th, 201011:14 am
Thanks Lew & RC for the info. Maybe the kid can come back. At least he don’t quit trying. Anything to make Braves better is great with me.
RC: thats where frank wren comes in and resigns ankiel as our left handed reliever! just kidding. don’t we have decent lh reliever prospects in the minors?
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