Schafer returns to lineup; Heyward, McLouth, Minor updates

Jordan Schafer returned to the lineup Sunday night, just 48 hours after he thought he was seriously injured after fouling a bunt attempt off his face.

Schafer has a small sinus fracture on the right side of his face but was cleared by doctors to return when he was comfortable. He proved he was ready after a turn on the stationary bike Sunday afternoon, some running in the outfield and a feet-first slide for the benefit of Braves trainer Jeff Porter.

“It’s sore but nothing that’s going to bother me with anything,” said Schafer, who still had a little bit of swelling and a black eye. “I can see fine and everything else is good.”

Schafer said he would not hesitate to bunt if the need arises. He’s just happy to be back in there.

“I feel pretty lucky, pretty fortunate that I’m back playing first of all and that nothing was seriously wrong,” said Schafer, who spent the better part of the past two years recovering from a wrist injury. “It’s nice to be back on the field.”

Roster watch

Both Nate McLouth (oblique) and Jason Heyward (shoulder) are in Orlando rehabilitating at the Braves extended spring training facility, but Gonzalez indicated Sunday neither had begun taking batting practice and Heyward has yet to start “baseball activities.” McLouth has done some light throwing.

Neither is close to returning when the Braves travel to Florida to open a three-game series against the Marlins, but McLouth is on the faster track and will rejoin the team when he’s ready for bp…

Mike Minor took a perfect game into the seventh inning for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, indicating he’s ready and sharp for a likely return to the Braves rotation Saturday in Houston. Minor didn’t allow a hit or a walk until the seventh inning, when he gave up both, and finished with eight shutout innings, allowing only a single in a 7-5 win over Buffalo. He struck out nine.

Minor has made two starts in the fifth starter’s spot in place of the injured Brandon Beachy (oblique). Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had told him after his quality start against the Padres Tuesday not to take for granted he’d be back in Houston and to make the most of his next outing in Gwinnett.

“I said, ‘Hey, there are no promises; you’re lined up but there are no promises,’” Gonzalez said. “But that is a good step. We haven’t made that decision but that’s nice to see.”

83 comments Add your comment

Bravo_fan 52

June 5th, 2011
7:54 pm

firstivus 4 the worst of us

Bravo_fan 52

June 5th, 2011
7:59 pm

go jordan win the job

jim

June 5th, 2011
8:06 pm

What is the source of Heyward’s injury? Did he hurt his shoulder at one time — bad swing or during a slide, or was it from the cumulative effect of a too violent swing?

Adam

June 5th, 2011
8:08 pm

I’m officially worried about Heyward. “No where close to returning”.? Geez. It seems like he’s been out forever. He’s 22. How banged up is he gonna be when he’s 30?

Ralph

June 5th, 2011
8:13 pm

Is everybody ready for Cy Dickie?

Carroll Rogers

June 5th, 2011
8:15 pm

jim, just started bothering him in spring training. he can’t remember one specific incident (heyward/shoulder)

Ralph

June 5th, 2011
8:25 pm

Braves starting pitching is becoming almost as good as the offense.

Reality Bites

June 5th, 2011
8:51 pm

Danny Hall……the Paul Hewitt of ACC baseball. Talk about doing less with more EVERY Year. Guess Howard Cosell was right all those years ago. We are Losersville.

ray

June 5th, 2011
8:59 pm

you’re right Ralph. now Hudson and Lowe are regressing. when you get shut out, it doesn’t matter who’s pitching anyway. and the problems with offense aren’t limited to Uggla either.
the Mets were having problems at home-until the Braves arrived.
why is this matchup of mediocrity on ESPN anyway ?

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
9:00 pm

The Braves deserve to be sitting at home in October and watching all the other teams vying for a world series ring. If any team in baseball needs to get on a winning streak, just check your schedule and hope you have a series against the Atlanta Braves. They are becoming painful to watch.

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
9:04 pm

They just swung at everything they saw and made 3 outs faster then Jose Reyes scored from third on a wild pitch. No wonder their offense is anemic and opposing pitchers barely break a sweat and can finish a game with under a 100 pitches.

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
9:09 pm

They have now not scored a single run against the Mets in 13 straight innings and have given up 9 despite having Jurrgens and Hudson in back to back games.

south georgia boy

June 5th, 2011
9:12 pm

Coming from a long time Braves fan. I think McCan is a very poor defensive catcher. He almost never throws out a base stealer. His throws tail off toward right center field. Pitches in the dirt get by him easily,
because he will not shift and block them. Any catcher can catch fastball strikes. Good catchers prevent wild pitches. Worst of all, he never handles a throw from an outfielder. Throws get through him or get dropped by him. Before you jump on me, give this some careful thought.

alex

June 5th, 2011
9:20 pm

bobby v. critiquing uggla…PRICELESS, NOT REALLY-9 MILLION

Heyward may be an 'old' 22

June 5th, 2011
9:22 pm

I remember reading last year during his ‘phenom’ season that he had played 200 games a year all over the southeast as a little league/junior league, etc..player. His joints may be prematurely worn out!
I’m NOT saying they are, just that that is a lot of baseball for a young kid.

Nugget

June 5th, 2011
9:22 pm

Uggla has just become laughable. Valentine calling out his defense as well. What a pathetic idiot.

groundfog

June 5th, 2011
9:23 pm

Way to bring your A game tonight Hudson on national tv.

Nugget

June 5th, 2011
9:24 pm

Another K for Uggla, hope his ass gets booed in Atlanta.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Harpie

June 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

south georgia boy: you are totally right about McCann. His hitting is decent, but he’s a terrible catcher.

Philco

June 5th, 2011
9:37 pm

Whewww…..so ugly a watch are this year’s Braves! Do we get to play the Twins…and make the Twins too look like a World Series contender???
I agree totally with you south georgai boy, I was hoping they would move McCan to 1st base before Freeman came along.
IMO…I can’t wait for Chipper to retire and then move Prado to third and get a power bat in left…trade Lowe…and the money saved from Chipper & Lowe should help add some new blood and power…

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
9:42 pm

God this team sucks. All they are is a bunch of high priced unproductive players. Go ahead and take your rightful spot of last place already.

Philco

June 5th, 2011
9:43 pm

Damnnnn…..and I forgot the $8 million that McLouth won’t be getting in Atlanta. With that said, good trades and free agent signings are a must. I like Ugly, but I didn’t think he was the answer the Braves were looking for. He has already shown he can not handle the pressure of his contract…do we get a rebate on his 2011 salary??

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
9:47 pm

I agree on McCann, he is a great hitting catcher, but he is below average in every other catching category. If he didn’t swing the stick like he does, he would not be a starting catcher. What’s worse, walking in a run, or having them score on a wild pitch? Doesn’t matter, these losers give teams runs both ways.

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
9:58 pm

I would love to see Braves home games have the attendance that the Marlins get. They deserve that much. At least the Marlins have won with virtual no name players, and a very low payroll. What have the Braves done lately? Traded for overrated players like Uggla, and completely fall on their faces. The Marlins deserve big turnout at home games whereas the Braves deserve a few hundred fans at each home game.

bruce

June 5th, 2011
9:58 pm

thanks Carroll !!!

Mike

June 5th, 2011
9:58 pm

I am getting sick of Freddie G. Case in point…Prado just got called out on a FOUL ball that was called fair by the third base ump that the Home Plate ump should have called but did not and while Prado argues the call, all Freddie G. does is come out to keep Prado in the game instead of taking up the argument…Where is the FIRE?

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
10:08 pm

Kind of ironic that Uggla has killed the Braves for years as a Marlins, and now he is killing the Braves as a member of the Braves.

Bill

June 5th, 2011
10:08 pm

The no good catcher just hit homer……..lol

Caseyatthebat

June 5th, 2011
10:10 pm

Starting to get tired of hearing,”they’re gonna hit, they’re gonna hit.” Let’s face it. This team can’t hit. Uggla is a bust. Heyward is a fine young man with a lot of talent and if pigs had wings they could fly. McCann is starting to look sloppy behind the plate. Chipper can’t play every day. Shaver butts the ball with his head. IF,IF,IF……they’re gonna, they’re gonna, they’re gonna.

Hinske Da Man

June 5th, 2011
10:15 pm

Bill, read the arguments, McCann is a great offensive catcher and a poor defensive catcher.

Bill

June 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

I did..agree 100% but I was just being a smart -zzzzz!

Bill

June 5th, 2011
10:19 pm

alex..I’m a GT man but we need a new Baseball Coach .

alex

June 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

so you think charlie sheen helped the jackets baseball team tonight;Danny Hall -IDIOT!

rc35

June 5th, 2011
10:24 pm

Why would Fredi start Uggla against a knuckleball pitcher? A free swinger vs. the butterfly pitch? Diory Hernandez would have had much greater odds of getting a hit in this situation. Uggla in his prime, OK. Uggla in a slump, you gotta be kiddin’ me!

Bill

June 5th, 2011
10:25 pm

how did the answer get ahead of the question?

Bill

June 5th, 2011
10:27 pm

Hinski da man..who did u vote for all-star catcher?

BrianSC

June 5th, 2011
10:36 pm

A team with no offense, no way to create offense, and can’t swing the bats facing a knuckle-baller. We get disaster. This game is dreadful. It is painful to watch the Braves’ offense.

You can’t just sit back and say, “these guys are going to hit”,”the bats are going to get going”, etc.

Somebody has to step up and make some things happen. The things you are doing are obviously not working. What are you going to do?

Bill

June 5th, 2011
10:54 pm

Larry strikes out to end the game!

Caseyatthebat

June 5th, 2011
10:56 pm

Can Diory Hernandez present any better a case to be playing in place of Uggla? If you’re always trying to put the best team on the field and you need hitters, shouldn’t you put the guys that are hitting in the line-up? I don’t care what their name is or how much their being paid, if their not hitting they should sit until they show that they can.

Thadsdad

June 5th, 2011
10:58 pm

It ain’t happenin’ folks.
Even anemic offenses like those of the Padres or the Mariners score seven or eight runs once in a while. This awesome offense, bolstered by the addition of RBI Machine Uggla, hasn’t scored eight runs in a game since May 4.
This “offense is going to break out soon” crap is just that – this team is never going to hit.
I’d almost rather see this band of boobs tank, otherwise we’re doomed to keep watching this popgun offense because they’re still in the race and the offense is going to break out soon.

Caseyatthebat

June 5th, 2011
11:05 pm

Has anyone noticed that you haven’t heard one damn word from Wren lately?

Caseyatthebat

June 5th, 2011
11:07 pm

Well Brian, it doesn’t take much to keep this team off balanced. Just asked many of the mediocre pitchers in the league.

BrianSC

June 5th, 2011
11:09 pm

Two things…

“You’ve got to tip your hat”, Dickey kept us off balance all night.

Hernandez for 2B.

Harpie

June 5th, 2011
11:12 pm

This team stinks!!!

alex

June 5th, 2011
11:18 pm

Atlanta starting pitching beginning to look mortal; imagine that with uggla,mather,mclouth-schaefer,etc.Really hope that FW pulls something off, Conrad for uggla,–priceless.

Bud

June 5th, 2011
11:28 pm

Have to agree about McCann being a poor defensive catcher. One other thing he doesn’t do well is block the plate and hasn’t since he was run over by Ersted several years ago. Guess we don’t have to worry about a broken ankle. Got to agree about Freddie also, too nice of a person to be a manager. Braves seem to be going backward with their talent. We need a Reyes type at shortstop, second or center field.

Formerbravefan

June 5th, 2011
11:36 pm

Schafer is an up grade on defense but that 210 avg is why he is a AAAA player and Mc Clouth is the starter even though he also sucks.

jj

June 5th, 2011
11:53 pm

Boy we could sure use that SS we gave to Toronto.I haven’t heard about any problems since he left.It is a shame that the same problems the Braves were having when they moved him to 6 in the order from 2 still exist.I still believe BC traded him for our present SS because he had only hit 1ONE hr and AG had hit 20.A bad darn trade and I believe BC traded the wrong players and left FG with a CF and SS that he thought were HR hitters.LOL. Bobby and his HR hitters……Now our 2baseman can’t hit,not BC faught this time.C’mon Uggs,lets go.

Rowsdower

June 5th, 2011
11:54 pm

Looking forward to all your comments when this team runs off 10 in a row and the offense starts clicking.

When a team has pitching like this team its only a matter of time.

PMC

June 6th, 2011
12:01 am

They still can’t hit, and now the pitching is shaky too.

I’d love to feel more confident about the playoffs, if they get in there will be teeth skin involved.

I guess it’s important to remember they do have some injuries right now but still, they haven’t hit worth a crap the entire year.

PMC

June 6th, 2011
12:11 am

They could easily win 10 strait if the bats ever come around, but I mean…it’s June, what if Uggla has a year like McClouth?

PMC

June 6th, 2011
12:13 am

Heyward may well be Greg Oden.

jj

June 6th, 2011
12:22 am

What scares me now is that you have two 30yr old plus pitchers that are regressing and it is just beginning to get hot in the ATL.I love the Braves but we have not hit in a long time.Not since The Jones Boys were raking and that’s been a while.We just need Uggs to start hitting and hope Chipper and J-Hey can stay and get healthy.I believe we have a CF and I hope we leave him out there and go get a righthanded bat for the OF that can do what Hinske does from the left side.It is early,but it’s getting late.Make it happen GM.

Larry

June 6th, 2011
12:23 am

Curious, who on here truly thinks that Gonzalez has the instincts, intelligence and intangibles to lead a major league team to a world series championship?

Personally, I think the man is as dumb as a box of rocks, as inspirational as a snail, and has the leadership skills of a person in a persistent vegetative state.

Largo

June 6th, 2011
12:23 am

What a screwed up team. They win one then lose two. Of course, that is no surprise to me.

Gonzalez in the two hole, Get real. If I were pitching to him I’d throw everything around the letters and watch him swing like my grandma.

Mather is on the way back to oblivion.

We have a lot of center fielders but, really, No center fielders.

Chipper was great. . .once upon a time.

Uggla, bless his heart, may have lost it earlier than anyone planned.

Fredi would rather manage from the motel room. That way he wouldn’t EVER have to talk to the umpires.

And on we go.

yogi

June 6th, 2011
12:49 am

Schafer is a good defensive outfielder that cant hit. His average is falling. Now at ,210. After a few more games he will be around . 150 or so. Typical for a Fredi G. player

TP

June 6th, 2011
4:13 am

what the hitting coach name? is it TP OR Larry who!

TP

June 6th, 2011
4:16 am

IT not Gonzalez fault that he has the players that he has. blame this on Wren & Bobby Cox for given away all the good players.

acbwcmm

June 6th, 2011
4:21 am

@jj – You mean the one hitting .290 with 7 HR’s and 24 RBI’s? That shortstop? Yep, he’d be nice to have around.

@Largo – I agree with everything you said. I don’t think I could have said it any better myself.

TP

June 6th, 2011
4:26 am

NC Brave

June 6th, 2011
6:05 am

Glad to see others finally recognize the defensive lapses of Brian. He is a much less effective defensive catcher that is Ross. I believe that the Braves have a better team when Ross is giving Brian a day off.

A good defensive team begins by being solid up the middle of the field. That is catcher, pitcher, 2nd and Short and centerfield. Consider the Braves players in those positions. The poor play in these positions (except short) is the reason so many games are lost.

BRAVESFAN

June 6th, 2011
7:16 am

Should I replace the name and number on my Heyward jersey now?

dogman

June 6th, 2011
7:17 am

I too am concerned about Heyward. Is he a medical case or what? He is only 22 and has been on the disabled list or been out about as much as he has played. I think the braves need to pursue at least 2 outfielders somewhere. They cannot depend on Heyward at all. 22 year old players are not suppose to spend this much time not playing. As for Uggla I think he should be sent to the minors and prove he can play at the major league level again. I watched the braves last night until they were down 6-0 and I went to bed. They have no power, no speed, and so-so pitching. They cannot even come close to winning the division with this team.

Furman Bitcher

June 6th, 2011
7:33 am

Guys here I am falling on my sword. I use to blast Bobby Cox at every turn and there were people on this board saying to be careful wishing for another manager. I have been a Braves fan since 78 and I will say right now I miss Bobby and this guy we have now is not the answer.

Furman Bitcher

June 6th, 2011
7:36 am

Looks like we should have about 35 million to play with this off season if we can trade Lowe, get Chipper to retire and lose McClouth. I say get a right handed bat for right field and go after Jose Reyes hard if the Mets cant re-sign him. Imagine him at the top of this line up. This year is shot unless Heyward returns and hits along with Uggla finding his swing again.

Furman Bitcher

June 6th, 2011
7:43 am

If we are at the break with Uggla hitting .175 he needs to go down and work on his swing. Period.

Grimreality

June 6th, 2011
7:53 am

I agree with Adam… 22 yrs old and Heyward can’t stay on the field. He’s blamed injuries for hi s slumping and as of yet he not lived up to all the “hype”. Right now I’m afraid he’s a paper lion.

bja

June 6th, 2011
7:54 am

I just saw a comment by a good baseball man who said you don’t steal on the catcher,but on the pitcher,who is slow in releasing the pitch.

bball fan

June 6th, 2011
8:41 am

What’s wrong with this picture? Schafer gets hit in the face and is back in 2 games. Heyward has been out forever with a mystery injury. Just saying…..Good call South Georgia Boy..

Steven Lemon

June 6th, 2011
8:47 am

Heyward’s injury results from having played with a HIDDEN injury since spring training.
His injury is, in my opinion, SELF INFLICTED because he was “eat up with the dumb ass” by concealing it from management. It wouldn’t bother me a bit if he ends up being the most memorable flash in the pan in baseball history, even more so than Brad Komminsk.

I have gone 180 degrees from a “Say Hey” fan to “Hey NAY”.
Heyward has harmed his team with his selfish act, and must work like hell to regain my respect and support.

BRAVESFAN

June 6th, 2011
9:14 am

No more autograph sessions, commercials or shoe tying for Heyward. Hopefully the Braves will spend some money on a personal trainer for him because this year he’s as useful as a bag of broken toys.

don

June 6th, 2011
9:53 am

I would doubt that players would spend so much time on the DL if they weren’t being paid obscene amounts to sit. No play-no pay-few trips to the DL.

The Babe

June 6th, 2011
10:53 am

Can Prado pitch ,play second and 3rd and left field.At the same time better than what we got? It would be nice. He wants to win..
I’m not a hitting coach. But I know enough about baseball to tell these guys how to up their batting average by 50 pts.
Quit trying to pull everything . Hit the ball where it is pitched.

Get Rid Of Heyward

June 6th, 2011
12:01 pm

Heyward is overrated and a pu..y! Take some Advil and play.

Blaze

June 6th, 2011
12:57 pm

South Gerogia Boy…….you are exactly right. I have been telling my friends that McCann is average at best as a defensive catcher. Now….I do think he calls an above average game and sometimes a stellar game. He is a very good offensive player but I totally agree on your assessment of his defensive ability.

Mark's for the Braves

June 6th, 2011
1:17 pm

Mark my words:

Before the July deadline we’ll have to trade a SP for a bat–Beachy or Minor will be gone (Lowe would be better).

Stoned Mountain

June 6th, 2011
1:55 pm

South Georgia Boy, you are absolutely correct re McCann. I have seen high school catchers through to second better than he. And he cannot block the ball; tries to catch it at the inappropriate time. And he cannot handle the throw from the outfield consistently, causing needless errors on the outfielders.

WHY DOESN’T HE WORK ON THIS????????????

Jack Lill

June 6th, 2011
2:09 pm

In spring training, Wren said that he was happy with the ball club. I wonder where that ball club went.

TB

June 6th, 2011
2:17 pm

Heyward’s problem is probably a pinched nerve & he should be seeing a good chiropractor instead of sports therapy gooble-de-gook. I have had the same problem, & what originally took about 6 sessions with my chiropractor, only takes one if it returns. As far as McCann’s throws to second, for one thing he’s rushing his throws & for another, he is in the mindset (like a lot of kids) that second is farther away than 1st & 3rd, therfore he muscles up on the throw. He needs more work with Ross & it couldn’t hurt getting a little help from his brother, Brad. He’s still the best catcher in the NL, though.

KK

June 6th, 2011
5:00 pm

“Bunting”, the lost art.

John A.

June 7th, 2011
1:24 am

Check other teams and see how many former Braves are in the starting lineups; Kelly Johnson (2B), JD Drew, Frenchy, Andruw (no good and with the Yankees), Carpenter, Wainwright, Elvis, and the list goes on. All of these guys gone and what did we get in return? Even Melky is hitting and playing everyday.

DC Brave

June 7th, 2011
9:55 am

How is Beachy doing? I miss seeing him run out there…he was getting pretty good.

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