Multiple reports say that the Los Angeles Dodgers either have signed, or plan to sign, former Brave Jordan Schafer to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
According to Ken Gurnick, who covers the Dodgers for MLB.com, Schafer’s role could include a chance to pitch.
“The Dodgers envision Schafer in a hybrid role as a defense-first center fielder and a left-handed reliever, with the emphasis on pitching. He was a pitcher in high school but has not taken the mound in a professional game,” Gurnick wrote.
Gurnick wrote that Schafer reportedly will receive $1 million this season, if he makes the major league roster.
Among the major league pitchers who converted to playing in the field is former Brave Rick Ankiel, but few have moved from playing in the field to pitching.
Schafer played for the Braves in parts of four seasons — 2009, 2011 and 2013-14 — and hit .224 in 259 games. He hit six home runs, including one in his first major league at-bat. He hit the homer off of Brett Myers of the Phillies on opening night in 2009. He was the 99th major league to accomplish that feat, and the fourth to do it for the Braves.
The next year, Jason Heyward became the fifth Braves player to hit a homer in his first at-bat.