Jordan Schafer is eager to get back on a big league diamond. He feels he has something to prove.
The former Atlanta Braves' center fielder, who was traded to Houston July 31 for the Astros' center fielder Michael Bourn, saw his first live pitching in three weeks Wednesday night as an Oklahoma City RedHawk.
Schafer started a rehab assignment Wednesday with the RedHawks but is expected to be activated by the Astros before Monday night's game against the Colorado Rockies.
Schafer was on the disabled list with an injured left middle finger when he was traded to Houston. He tore a tendon while stealing second base.
“It's still swollen pretty bad,” Schafer said. “It's probably going to be swollen until December. But as long as I can swing and throw, I am going to try to play.”
Schafer, 24, played in just 52 games for Atlanta this season because of injuries and hit .240 with 15 stolen bases.
Once considered the top prospect in the Braves' farm system, Schafer was surprised by the trade that brought him to Houston.
“I know we were going for a corner guy for two weeks there and then I think just with the combination of me going on the DL and then Nate (McLouth) going on the DL two days later that we really didn't have a guy to play center every day,” Schafer said.
“At the same time, you can understand. It's Chipper's (Jones) last two years there. They are in a win now mentality, and they wanted a more veteran guy, a more proven guy, so they went out and got that. Bourn is a really good player. He is having a really good year.”
Schafer is moving from a playoff contender in the Braves to an Astros' organization building for the future.
“Obviously it's a lot different coming from Atlanta. You are used to winning there mostly every day. We are playing with a bunch of 23-, 24- and 25-year old kids. You are going to go through your growing pains, and you are going to take your lumps.
“I think we are trying to find our identity a little bit here. I think it's going to take a little bit. Our front office and our fans have to be patient.
“We have just so many young guys who are just trying to find their way right now and get their foot in the door and trying to show everybody that they belong here.”
Schafer includes himself in that group. He is eager to get back in the major leagues and show the Astros what they traded for.
“Anytime you get traded you feel you need to prove again what you can do,” he said.