Braves set to place Nate McLouth on DL, call up Jordan Schafer

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Nate McLouth’s strained left oblique will put him on the disabled list, according to the Journal-Constitution’s Dave O’Brien, and the Braves are set to call up Jordan Schafer to replace him.

Schafer, who opened 2009 as the Braves’ center fielder, is back in the majors for the first time since June of that year.  There was plenty of hype this spring that with Schafer finally healthy, he’d overtake McLouth as a regular at some point this season.  However, he failed to perform well in March and he was hitting just .256/.309/.323 with one homer in 164 at-bats for Triple-A Gwinnett.

That makes McLouth a pretty big loss, even if he was hitting a modest .238/.332/.341 in 164 major league at-bats.   The Braves don’t have another legitimate center fielder on the roster, so Schafer figures to get a chance to play everyday in the McLouth’s absence.  The team is in better position to cover Jason Heyward’s absence, with Eric Hinske and Joe Mather likely to platoon in right field.  Wilkin Ramirez will serve as the fifth outfielder.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.