Schafer’s two way experiment hits a snag

The Cardinals announced today that left handed pitcher/outfielder Jordan Schafer will have surgery on his throwing elbow on Friday. He had an MRI of his left elbow yesterday and after consulting with doctors and the team, has elected for strategy.

Schafer, 30, had been hoping to make the Cardinals roster as both a reliever and outfielder. He has played 463 MLB games as an outfielder, batting .228/.308/.307 in his career, but pulled the reverse Ankiel before last year and starting pitching. He posted a 3.38 ERA last season over 49 innings of work between three levels in the Dodgers’ organization.

He was 0-for-3 at the plate while playing 3 innings in center field this spring. On the mound, he had equally struggled over his 3.2 innings of work in 5 appearances with a 2.73 WHIP while allowing 4 earned runs.

The Cardinals were intrigued at the possibility of using Schafer as a reserve outfielder and a left handed specialist and brought him to camp as a non-roster invitee with a midseason opt out. Now he may not even be back on a mound by the time that opt out comes to bear.

They are undecided whether he will need to undergo a full Tommy John surgery or whether he could have reconstruction like Seth Maness and Mitch Harris had last season that would have a quicker recovery time. Either way, his 2017 season is over. Dr. Paletta will determine that after taking a look inside his elbow on Friday.