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.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.