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Wrist will slow Schafer for at least two weeks

ATLANTA - The Gwinnett Braves, already shorthanded, will be without center fielder Jordan Schafer for at least two weeks.

Schafer has a deep bone bruise in his left hand, near the wrist. The nature of the injury was revealed in a MRI and Atlanta general manager Frank Wren said that the news was actually encouraging.

"When you hear that he felt a pop, you think of something worse," Wren said Wednesday.

Schafer knew something was wrong on his last swing at Rochester on Friday night. He hadn't played since.

Schafer, 22, won Atlanta's starting center field job with an outstanding spring training, but hit just .204 with the Braves before being sent down to Class AAA early last week. He hadn't played above Class AA before this season.

The left-handed hitter had been bothered off and on by left wrist discomfort while with Atlanta, but got off to a good start with the G-Braves. He had three hits, including a homer, in his second Class AAA game and was hitting .308 when sidelined.

Schafer joins James Parr on the Gwinnett disabled list. The right-handed pitcher is suffering from elbow tenderness and will be shut down for about two weeks, according to Wren.

Gwinnett's pitching staff has been decimated by promotions, trades and injuries. Todd Redmond is the only starter remaining from the opening rotation.

"We haven't been too kind to them lately," Wren said.

Left-hander Jonny Venters was promoted from Class AA Mississippi on Wednesday and is scheduled to start Saturday night against Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The G-Braves open a four-game home series with the Yankees tonight.

Venters was 4-4 and had a 2.76 ERA at Mississippi, not allowing an earned run while winning his last two starts. Kyle Cofield and Jerome Gamble were returned to Class AA to make room for Venters and recently signed Jon Huber.

The Atlanta organization has been hit by a rash of injuries recently. Myrtle Beach outfielder Jason Heyward - considered the Braves' top prospect remaining in the minors - is out with an oblique strain after earlier having a hip flexor. Also, Rome right-hander Zeke Spruill, a Class A South Atlantic League all-star game pick, went on the disabled list Wednesday. He leads the system with seven victories.