Report: Dodgers to try out OF Schafer as pitcher during spring training
If Jordan Schafer makes the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster, he might serve a rare hybrid role in 2016.
Earlier this week, the Dodgers reportedly invited Schafer to spring training as a non-roster invitee, an invitation that reportedly was extended not just as an outfielder but as a pitcher as well.
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.
Schafer suffered a disappointing season with the Minnesota Twins last year. After beginning the season as the Twins' starting center fielder, the 29-year-old lefty was released Minnesota in June following a right knee strain.
In his six years in the majors, Schafer has become known for his smooth fielding and speed, as he holds a career .990 fielding percentage and has stolen 103 bases.
According to MLB.com, the most recent player to serve a hybrid role was Brooks Kieschnick, who was used as a right-handed reliever and left-handed pinch-hitter by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003.
Schafer last pitched for Winter Haven High School in Florida before he was drafted in the third round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Atlanta Braves.