Jordan Schafer

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.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.

Jimmy Rollins wants to play in 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.

Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.

Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.