Schafer expected to join Gwinnett soon

CHATTANOOGA — Jordan Schafer was with the Gwinnett Braves for three months last season and played in just nine games.

That tells you how frustrating the season was for the center fielder, as well as the Atlanta organization.

Finally, it was determined that the injury to his left wrist was a break and he had surgery in early September. A downhill season that began so well with two homers on opening day for Atlanta in Philadelphia was officially over.

This spring was more frustration, however, with Schafer experiencing continuing pain and stiffness in his repaired wrist. The Grapefruit League season came and went without a single at-bat.

But Schafer is finally healthy again and is slated to rejoin the G-Braves this weekend. After that, he hopes it's eventually back to Atlanta, where the Braves could use some outfield help right now.

Schafer's rehab assignment moved from Class A Rome to the Class AA Southern League on Tuesday night as the left-handed hitter played his first game with Mississippi against Chattanooga.

The M-Braves' series with the Lookouts at AT&T Field runs through Friday. But Schafer may leave the team the day before.

Gwinnett returns to Coolray Field on Friday to begin a four-game series with Lehigh Valley and Schafer is scheduled to join the G-Braves then or the next day.

"Three or four games," Schafer said of his expected stay with Mississippi.

Before joining the M-Braves, Schafer played six rehab games for Rome and hit .273 with two doubles and two stolen bases. He walked four times and struck out five times.

Schafer took one game off with Rome, but reported no discomfort in his wrist.

"It's getting better," Schafer said. "As long as it isn't worse, that's progress. I want to get this behind me."

Schafer, 23, hit just .204 in 50 games with Atlanta before being sent down to Gwinnett in early June a year ago. But it turned out that he was hurt almost the whole time with the Braves, injuring the wrist during the home opener.