Schafer could avoid DL despite sinus fracture
Outfielder fouled bunt attempt off right side of face Friday
NEW YORK -- The Braves have determined there is a possibility that they will not have to place Jordan Schafer on the disabled list.
The Braves announced Schafer suffered a non-displaced sinus fracture after fouling a bunt attempt off the right side of his face in the fifth inning of Friday night's 6-3 Braves win over the Mets at Citi Field. He underwent X-rays and a CT scan at a local hospital.
After reviewing the results, the Braves determined that they can wait at least a few more days with the hope that Schafer won't have to join fellow Braves outfielders Jason Heyward and Nate McLouth on the disabled list.
"He tried to bunt for a base hit, and the ball chased him pretty good," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It caught him in the cheek area, I think. He never lost consciousness."
Home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale said that Schafer simply missed the pitch. But replays indicated the 24-year-old center fielder was fortunate that the baseball seemed to at least make some contact with the handle of his bat.
After getting hit, Schafer fell to the ground and remained there while being evaluated by Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter. Gonzalez said he thought the blood he saw might have been coming from the outfielder's nose.
Schafer was able to walk off the field under his own power.
Schafer has served as the Braves' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter since McLouth went on the disabled list last week with a strained left oblique muscle. Since coming up from Triple-A Gwinnett, he has served as a catalyst at the top of the lineup and shown his great athleticism and range in the outfield.
"That's a bummer," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said Friday. "Jordan has been playing well. He's been setting the table at the top and playing good defense in center. It's like what happened to [Jeff Francoeur] a few years ago in the Minors. It's something you don't see a lot. I just hope and pray nothing is broken.
"Hopefully, it's just a contusion. It would be a shame, because he was really playing well and helping our ballclub."
If Schafer misses just a few games, the Braves could go with either Matt Young or Joe Mather in his absence. It's still too early to know when McLouth will be ready to return.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.