Is Schafer Really An Option?

Well, in today’s AJC is a Dave O’Brien article on Jordan Schafer and his rehabilitation process. You can read the article


if you’d like.

In short, the article lays out Schafer’s tale of injuring his wrist in the first week of 2009, trying to play through it without telling anyone he was playing in pain, then having the injury misdiagnosed as soft tissue when in fact it was actually a broken bone (yikes!). He finally had surgery at the end of the 2009 season. He was then told it would take a year for his strength to return. He pooh-poohed that diagnosis and attempted to return in spring training 2010. Using his incredibly hard head as a tool (weapon? hat rack?), he proceeded to play himself all the way down the Braves ladder from the big league camp, to AAA, then AA. His performance continued to (make slurping sounds).

The article posits that a light then came on inside said hard head. Jordan realized that it had taken a year for his wrist to return to normal. He’s now working with an incredibly talented trainer, is in the best shape of his life, and plans to come back this spring and become the player he seemed to be in the spring of 2009. That basically brings us to now.

Not to be a spoil-sport or anything, but does this have a familiar sound to anyone? Down on his luck lad has to go through the worst of times only to emerge victorious in the end? I bet he’ll get the girl, too :). The whole thing even reminds of the stories we’d hear every spring about Andruw having lost a ton of weight and being sculpted, only to find the sculpture being a stack of mashed potatoes! Call me a skeptic, but this sure seems like it’s straight out of the Braves P.R. department.

As they say, though, just because it’s scripted doesn’t mean it can’t be true. The question is, then, is Schafer a legitimate option in center field, or is all this a diversion to keep the fan base from obsessing over Nate McLouth and his inability to hit ever since his vision was corrected?

So what’s the answer? I tend to think that Schafer thinks he’s back. I also think that Wren would trade Schafer in a heartbeat if he could get any return on him. I don’t think that’s possible unless Wren finds out what the Nationals’ owners are smoking and passes it out to the other GM’s at the winter meetings. Short of that, as Braves fans we can choose to believe that Schafer is a never-was, or we can choose to believe that there’s a chance that the Schafer of the spring 2009 can be reincarnated. Or we can put our hopes in 28 year old rookie Matt Young. Or a miracle trade. It gives me a headache; what about you?