Jordan Schafer’s future with the Astros
It’s been almost two weeks since Jordan Schafer was arrested in Florida for marijuana possession. To my knowledge, the Astros have yet to comment. That’s really no big surprise. The Astros are probably taking the ever popular “if you ignore a problem long enough if will go away” approach. Unlike the NFL, Major League Baseball does not levy suspensions against their employees for off the field misconduct. (see Miguel Cabrera or Ron Washington) All of this leads me to believe that the Astros are planning on Schafer being the every day center-fielder and leadoff hitter next season. Afterall, he was the only player with any big league experience acquired in the trade deadline salary dump.
On a roster littered with recent call-ups, the 24 year-old Schafer almost has to be considered a veteran. UGGHHHHH! Schafer’s recent behavior would suggest he’s not the guy we need the younger players to be looking up to. Who knows, maybe the array of upcoming court appearances will be a wake-up call for the youngster. We can only hope so because Schafer’s 532 major league plate appearances are the most among the team’s outfielders. That is assuming Jason Michaels will be non-tendered and Carlos Lee is a first-baseman. That makes Schafer the team’s best option in center, even though his latest regression (and his career .228/.311/.305 slash line) would suggest otherwise. The Astros just don’t have a lot of options here. Plan B would have to be Brian Bogusevic, Jason Bourgeois, and/or J.B. Shuck. That’s not a very exciting group of candidates. But we all know the Astros are not willing to spend money on a proven replacement. So it looks like it will be sink or swim time for Schafer in 2012. That is of course assuming he doesn’t go to jail.
That brings us to another burning (pun intended) question. Should we ascribe Schafer’s blatant disregard for the law to sheer stupidity? Or was it a cry for help? Taking into consideration Schafer’s 50 game suspension for PEDs in 2008, I’m going to go ahead and assume the latter. In either case, I think the Astros need to be pro-active in this matter. A young man’s future and possibly even his life could be at stake here. Much like a sprained ankle, drug addiction is a medical condition that requires treatment. When players are injured teams react quickly in an effort to protect their investment. If Schafer suffered a hamstring injury he would immediately be prescribed an MRI exam. This condition should be treated just as aggressively. The Astros need to get help for Jordan Schafer before it is too late.