New York – As bad as continued offensive woes have been for the Braves, the last thing they needed was another injury. But Friday night, center fielder Jordan Schafer had to leave the game against the Mets after fouling a bunt attempt off his face.
A person who spoke with Schafer late Friday said he had a broken nose, and awaited results of a CT scan to determine if there was other damage.
Schafer was taken to a New York area hospital after the fifth-inning incident.
“He had an X-Ray and really you don’t know,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after the game. “He’s doing a CT scan right now to make sure everything is OK. I won’t have an official update until tomorrow.”
Schafer dropped to the ground in pain, but eventually walked off on his own power with an ice pack on his face, escorted by Braves trainer Jeff Porter.
Schafer has been patrolling center field for the past nine games in place of Nate McLouth, who is on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Right fielder Jason Heyward (shoulder) is also on the DL.
Schafer was hitting 8-for-34 (.235) with seven walks after going 0-for-2 Tuesday night. He was attempting a bunt for a base hit – something he’s done twice since his call-up from Triple-A Gwinnett – when he was injured leading off the fifth inning.
“That’s a bummer,” Chipper Jones said. “Jordan is really playing well, setting the table at the top, playing good defense in center. It’s like what happened to Frenchy (Jeff Francoeur) a few years back when he was in the minors. It’s one of those freak things that you don’t see very often. I hope and I pray that nothing is broken and hopefully it’s just a contusion. It’d be a shame because he was really playing well and helping our ballclub.”
McLouth is in extended spring training at the Braves complex in Orlando. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday in Florida but he had not even begun swinging a bat at the end of the Braves’ recent homestand and will likely need a couple of minor league rehabilitation games before he’s ready to return.
If the injury wasn’t serious, Gonzalez said the Braves could get by with Joe Mather and Matt Young playing center. If it was serious, he said they’d bring up another outfielder from the minor leagues.
– Staff writer David O’Brien contributed to this report