UPDATE: David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Schafer was diagnosed with a small non-displaced sinus fracture.
The Braves will hold off on a roster move for now, but Matt Young and Joe Mather will likely see time in center field over the next few days. Wilkin Ramirez would likely be called up from Triple-A Gwinnett if Schafer requires a stint on the disabled list.
Friday, 9:12 PM: Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer was taken to the hospital for X-rays after fouling a bunt attempt off his face in the fifth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets.
Schafer was trying to drop one down for a hit, but the ball went off the top of his bat and caught him in the right side of the face in the area of his upper lip and nose.
Schafer has been the Braves’ everyday center fielder since Nate McLouth landed on the disabled list last month. McLouth is believed to be at least a week away, so the Braves will have to scramble if Schafer is going to miss some time. Joe Mather took his place in center tonight, but neither Mather nor fellow backup Wilkin Ramirez has a lot of range out there.
Update – Whoops. I missed that the Braves had farmed out Ramirez and brought back Matt Young on Tuesday. So they do have a legitimate backup center fielder. One who can’t hit, but a legitimate backup nonetheless.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”