July 21, 2014

Time for Schafer to go the way of Uggla

Jordan Schafer has a 35 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+).  Basically that just means he’s 65 percent worse than the average National League batter.  Also, for all the credit he gets for playing solid defense, he’s actually accumulated -22 Defensive Runs Saved throughout his major league career.  So over the course of his whole career, he’s 22 runs below average.  Offensively for his career, Schafer has a wRC+ of 70.

When Frank Wren and company reacquired Schafer, I applauded the move.  I thought this was exactly the type of player teams like the Braves should take chances on, players who have displayed tools and baseball skills before, who play a premium position, who have under-performed those tools and skills, and who are still young.  I still think the Braves reacquiring Schafer was the right move.

But at this point, at age 27, and not showing signs of improvement offensively and not getting any playing time, there is no reason to keep Schafer around.  Sure, Schafer is fast.  But since he hasn’t shown that he can do anything else well he’s essentially a pinch-runner.  There is value in having pinch-runners but not in pinch-runners who can do nothing else.  Schafer isn’t a very good defensive player and all indications are he’s never going to hit in the major leagues.  So the Braves are using a roster spot on a guy who only provides value as a pinch-runner.

The Braves could add another hitter, even if it’s not a player who can play centerfield, because they have Jason Heyward who could handle centerfield, if needed there.  Or they could add a player who could pinch-run and who could legitimately provide good defense as a backup outfielder.

After two seasons it’s become apparent that the Jordan Schafer experiment should come to an end.  They’ve given him ample time and he’s not shown that he’s capable of being even a good extra player in the majors.  Maybe he can catch on with a team that can afford to play him everyday at the big league level, to give him one last chance to see if there is any chance he can get back to the tools and skills he displayed in the minors.  But it’s time for the Braves, a team fighting for a division title, to let go of a player who so far has shown he offers limited value in the majors.




7 Responses to “Time for Schafer to go the way of Uggla”

  1. 1
    Alex Says:

    Disagree. Schafer hasn’t had much oppertunity at the plate or much playing time to improve his skillset. If he had as much playing time and at bats as we’ve given BJ I’d bet money he’d be sitting around .240

  2. 2
    Sam Montgomery Says:

    To quote John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious!” You say ‘Schafer isn’t a very good defensive player’ This is news to me. His reputation is as an outstanding fielder. To my fans eye, im happy when he’s out there. Sure you’re not confusing him w JUp? As for offense, he’s started 3, maybe 4 games this year. When Schafer started in a game in Houston, he got on base 3 times, was a terror on the base paths and scored a run or 2. He’s blazing fast, has an outrageously high successful steal ratio-caught 1 out of 17 or so tries. If he got regular abs, who knows what could happen. Remember the tear he was on before he hurt his foot? I think that was last year. You is nuts my friend. I wish he got in a platoon situation w BJ. Maybe 2 starts a week or so.

  3. 3
    david baker Says:

    You have never watched baseball have you.. Shaf has 2 starts against Waino, and Fernandez, and a tough lefty. As a team, the Braves had either 2 or 3 hits in each game.. The 2 starts he had against average to poor pitchers, he was on base 4 of 5 and 3 of 4 times.. On defense, I would rate him in the top ten among all OFers, and if you compare him to the Upton brothers, they would not be allowed to carry his Jock strap.. Geez, watch a little baseball before making such comments, or at least watch all the Braves games.. You sound just like the person 2 years ago, that argued with me, that Gattis would never get a cup of coffee in the ML’s.. Like him, do a tad of research before making such uneducated comments..

  4. 4
    Mattw108 Says:

    Hello…he was the starting cf for Astros! And had plenty of at bats and opportunities…I do believe he has better defense than suggested….IMO I would DFA and take my chances of him being claimed to give him more playing time and knock off the rust on his defense….just sayin!

  5. 5
    Shaun Says:

    I don’t think Schafer is quite as bad as his statistics might indicate, on the surface. But he’s bad. At best I think he’s a guy who can hold his own in the majors for a second-division team.

  6. 6
    jo-bu Says:

    I agree, Shaun. What Schafer still has going for him is speed — and that speed will more than likely start to decline over the next couple of seasons.

  7. 7
    Fozzy1987 Says:

    I agree with the top 4 commenters. Jordan needed more playing time. I see why he was expendable but I like him better than Domit. He will get picked up out there. Shaun you are wrong and a harsh credit. Bj is starting yet isn’t doing so hot. I can usually call his strikeouts every time. The braves as a whole need to pick it up otherwise I see a season ending in September.

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