Jordan Schafer Has Taken Over

Schafer was brilliant Wednesday night

Schafer was brilliant Wednesday night

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer has taken over in the Braves starting outfield.  He can no longer be cast aside ’cause other players are making big money.  In reality, Schafer is the one playing like a big-time free agent.

Wednesday night Schafer went 3 for 4, with two RBIs, a run scored, a walk and two stolen bases, in the Braves 3-2 win over the Indians.  He scored the winning run in the ninth inning, by legging out an infield hit, stealing second, and using his great speed to score from second on a good throw from medium depth in left field.  Schafer’s performance Wednesday night was the best pure lead-off performance that the Braves have had all season.

Schafer’s brilliance Wednesday night gives Braves fans hope that in those tight, low-scoring playoff games, Atlanta now has a difference maker, a player that can take a small crack in the door and kick it open to victory.  A player who can put pressure on the opponent, and scratch out a key run against a dominating pitcher.

What I like about Schafer’s season is that after he came back from the stress fracture, he struggled, yet he has overcome the adversity and regained his early season form.  That shows perseverance, maturity and commitment, three traits that Schafer did not display much in prior seasons.

Next year the Braves will have a tough time selling B.J. Upton as a starter after the way Schafer has played in 2013. Earlier in the season, explaining why he was playing guys who were struggling, Fredi Gonzalez cited their “bubble gum cards”.  Meaning that the guys who were struggling had been very productive in their careers and that he expected them to regain their career form.  Well, next season you can look at those bubble gum cards and B.J. Upton’s will show a very poor 2013 season, while  Schafer’s will show solid production.

  • Terrell

    So what you’re saying is that you would start Schafer after one good year? I agree he has done well and deserves a chance to be the starter next year, but lets not hand him the job just for one good year.

    • No, that isn’t what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that next year B.J. Upton should not be given the job ’cause he is making big money. He has to compete with Schafer from day one. They both have to compete on a daily basis irregardless of money or bubble gum cards..

      • Dave

        He will be benched as soon as jason returns,money speaks before common sense!.

        • Jordan

          I beg to differ. Fredi has shown he is willing to platoon Schafer and B.J. Already. In those times Schafer has had more PT.

        • rogerheld

          First, right now, both Schaefer and BJ are playing. BJ would likely be benched when Jason comes back. Second. Jason is better than Schaefer, so, yeah, I’d go with Jason.

      • Eric

        On the Schafer/Upton thing, I would like to see Schafer get a chance. He works hard, has the speed, can take a walk, and hustles every night. That being said, I would hate to see all that money (Upton) riding the pine next season. One question to consider is do the Braves need a righty or lefty bat more in the top 4 lineup spots (considering you would like to see some sort of mix of Heyward/Freeman/J-Upton 2nd/3rd/4th) which shouldn’t be the ultimate deciding factor, but something to consider. Even a platoon wouldn’t be the worst situation, of course this all hinges on B.J. righting the ship and putting up a OBP higher than .275.

        Earn free Cash and Rewards from Amazon:

  • Lee

    Glad that Jordan Shafer is getting his due. I called this some time ago. I’m making another call: Elliot Johnson needs to get playing time. He has the speed & skills the Braves need. Give him his chance. Production over salary!

    • Elliott is a versatile guy who looks to be a good acquisition so far. Nice to acquire more speed, too.

  • Bronkelliott

    Have to go with the hot hand. Schafer has earned it for now and I hope he plays everyday. Most Braves’ fans would be glad not to see BJ Upton ever again, I know it won’t happen but we can hope. Another thing is I would put Simmons batting second an J Upton 3rd, they both seem to have performed better from those spots.

    • rogerheld

      yes, exactly.

  • rogerheld

    For this year, BJ is done. He needs to go back to scratch on his swing and rediscover his potential. His swing looks awful – more like a golf swing than a baseball swing. I’d like to think he can open his mind and begin again. I know he wants to succeed.

    • I agree with you Roger that they need to break B.J.’s swing down and start over. Hopefully the staff will be able to get him squared away in the off-season. Don’t look like it is going to happen this year.