Injury updates on Schafer and Jurrjens

Jordan Schafer has been dealing with a sore left hand the past couple of days and may not be permitted to begin swinging for another day or two.  But manager Bobby Cox said this discomfort has nothing to do with the portion of the hand that was surgically-repaired in September. 

“It’s not a setback, (the hand) is just sore,” said Cox, who added that the club will take things slow with Schafer to increase the chances that he will be ready for the start the season. 

Cox has also said he takes the blame for not taking Schafer out of the lineup sooner last year.  The 23-year-old outfielder injured his hand during the season’s fourth game and was hitting .204 with 63 strikeouts (50 games) when his everyday duties ended with a demotion to Triple-A Gwinnett on June 1. 

“I was kind of selfish because I left him in there because of his defense,” Cox said. “I thought we would hit enough to get by.”

Schafer served a 50-game suspension in 2008 and was limited to just 59 games (9 with Gwinnett) during last year’s injury-shortened season.  Having totaled just 499 at-bats the past two years combined, he will likely spend at least a few months with Gwinnett before getting another chance to prove himself in the Majors. 

Jurrjens update:  Jair Jurrjens said he felt even less discomfort while playing long toss today for the first time since undergoing his MRI exam last week.  The 23-year-old right-hander, who has been dealing with inflammation in his shoulder, remains hopeful that he’ll begin throwing off a mound again next week.

Youthful power:   After watching Jason Heyward dent a few vehicles with his batting practice display on Tuesday, Cox ventured back to the back fields today to see some of the other mortal prospects take their swings. 

Cox was impressed with what he saw from Freddie Freeman during the live batting practice session and then watched Cody Johnson unleash a few of his mighty swings when the coaches started throwing BP. 

“In BP, Cody will impress you as much as anybody,” Cox said of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound former first-round selection, who has hit 58 homers and registered  357 strikeouts in 912 at-bats during the past two seasons.

Even more impressive in batting practice than the 6-foot-5, 245 pound Heyward, who has hit 28 homers and registered 129 strikeouts during the past two seasons.

“I don’t know who is stronger to be honest with you,” Cox said. “We have to have two of the strongest kids in all of baseball.”

Odds and ends: As you have likely seen, former top prospect J.R. House signed a Minor League contract with the Braves and will likely spend most of his time at the corner positions with Gwinnett this year.  Given that he’s a former WVU football player, Gwinnett has already been declared the favorites in the International League…Here is a video clip of Edward Salcedo, the 18-year-old Dominican shortstop the Braves signed on Tuesday…Kenshin Kawakami and Takashi Saito completed their first live batting practice sessions on Wednesday.

 

12 Comments

Well it’s nice to see that the WVU football players have gone on to find constructive professions. Most of the USF football grads are quite busy dealing with scouts from the various NFL teams.

Here’s something I’m wondering about. If Schafer impresses in Gwinnett and earns a call-up during the season, does he do so at the expense of McLouth or Cabrera?

My guess is that you get more for McLouth on the trading block, Besides Melky probably fits better in a back up role. I will also depend on what the team looks like when Shafer is ready.

Well, I think Melky is out of minor league options if i’m not mistaken. So the lack of options would take out any possibility of a demotion to Gwinnett. So, a trade would probably be in order there if that were to happen. With McLouth, I’m not sure if the option of demotion is even an option in this case. I agree McLouth would get more in the market. Cabrera is a switch hitting, versatile (any OF position), and has playoff experience. However, McLouth seems to provide a high offensive output. Hopefully, we will be in a situation where they are all doing so well during the season that we can’t decide what to do with all of those guys. If not, I’m not sure many people that would trade for Melky and want to pay him $3mil, so my guess would be McLouth as well. To be honest, I think the only reason we got McLouth in the first place was a back up plan because Schafer was not performing. The spot was Schafer’s to lose, and he lost it (i know an injury, but nonetheless). With his age, I’m sure the Braves will give him a shot or two to gain back his spot, thus, McLouth would be sent packing.

I think it more likely that McLouth is moved to one of the corners, where his lack of range won’t be as debilitating but we still get his decent speed and power. Diaz can move back to his backup role. I know he’s earned a spot but he is definitely more valuable in a platoon, and he doesn’t have McLouth’s speed or power… Well, speed, for sure. Power, we’ll see.

Anyway, my original point, McLouth in left, Heyward in right, and Schafer(rehab’d) in Center would be a pretty potent outfield, defensively and offensively. That’s if Schafer rebounds, otherwise this is a moot point.

I seem to remember talk of an outfield like that, anyway, and Diaz is a great 4th outfielder.

Mark might know better than I, or one of the guys here who seem to work for SABR.

Although the majority of people asked about Heyward’s maturity have given the response of “he is mature enough to handle the pressure as baseball’s top prospect”… Heyward making the team and given the starting spot in outfield right out of the gate is very exciting… for him, and the fans. He will be fun to watch. However… there is still pressure and he is very young. I hope Bobby positions him in the ladder half of the batting order… maybe 7th or 8th? This will allow him to focus on situational hitting and let him ease into facing big league pitching.
I am excited about the Edward Salcedo acquisition. Maybe a potential 3rd base replacement in 3-4 years?

of course, batting him 8th in the order will me he won’t really see a lot of good pitches. Maybe 7th is the better fit? … I think so. Also, I’m still torn about the leadoff spot. McClouth can steal bases… but I hate him in the top half of the lineup as well. I think both he and Yunel should be in the meatier part of the lineup to drive in runs.
Right now, this is where I see the best lineup.
Diaz
Prado
Chipper
Glaus
McCann
Escobar
McClouth
Heyward
Pitcher
…OK, so maybe I have Heyward batting 8th after all. With Melky in the lineup, I would put things a little differently. This lineup facing a right handed pitcher will give you – righty / lefty / righty / lefty / righty / lefty / righty / in the 3-8 spots in the order.

Oh I am starting to feel it. On Tuesday I will get to sit and smell the sweet grass of a Spring Training baseball game. There is nothing else in Major league baseball that is as pure as that is in my opinion. I always used to go to Dodgertown for my inaugural event for spring training but alas, Vero Beach is quiet now and I have to be satisfied with tormenting New Yorkers for 9 innings to start the spring training season. Believe me they they know they have run up on the “reef” after those nine innings. Trust me, as obnoxious as I am in here with other Braves fans, I am light years more difficult for those smog challenged, rude and free spending baseball brethren from the “Apple”. I can’t wait to see Jason’s new physique( I thought he was about done growing last year). I can’t wait to see Huddy in old form. I am waiting ectatically to watch Brian show up all toned and ready to go.I am aching to see Glaus healthy and ready to swat a few. I can’t help myself. As difficult sometimes as I find our offseason maneuvers to be, there is nothing but hope and support coming from me for this team. I really want to watch these guys dash the critics and give Bobby a Cinderella story for the ages. It would compete with worst-to-first and some of the incredible moments along that road.
I am 2 rows back of the Braves dugout on the aisle, if anyone sees a Mutts fan ejected from that general area, you will know what happened. :)

Man, the Mets are going to be so terrible this year. Their rotation minus Johan is a joke. Can’t wait to see the Braves destroy them in April at Citi Field. Meet The Mess! Come Meet The Mess!

I get to watch them train the Mutts on Tuesday. I am just itching to be there.

Hope someone can answer this for me. Is there any update on the eyesight of Brian McCann? I guess worst case scenario would be suiting up with the Oakley’s again this year. . . .

Pretty sure he’s fine. He had a second lasik surgery after last season.

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