A day after it was reported the Los Angeles Dodgers signed longtime outfielder Jordan Schafer to a minor-league contract, another report indicates they have different plans for him.

Schafer, who has played parts of six seasons in the majors and accumulated nearly 7,000 innings on defense in the outfield as a professional, will try a transition to pitcher at age 29. Schafer is a career .228 hitter with a .615 OPS and 103 stolen bases in 1,472 plate appearances. A highly regarded prospect with the Braves after being picked in the third round of the 2005 draft, Schafer batted .217 in 27 games for the Twins in 2015. He had a strong reputation on defense.



This is not an uncommon practice -- converting hitters to pitchers and vice versa -- although it's more unusual when the player has had so much major league experience. Pertinent examples of those have done it include: Jason Lane, Chris Hatcher and Brooks Kieschnick. Others, such as Kenley Jansen, Carlos Marmol and Joe Nathan, transitioned without major league experience as position players. There's also Rick Ankiel, who went from pitcher to hitter -- somewhat like the immortal Babe Ruth.

Here's video of perhaps Schafer's best day in the majors:


The Dodgers and Schafer might settle for something Jason Lane-ish result, with a little more career length. Perhaps Hatcher, now a teammate, can help guide this transition along. It would be a tremendous accomplishment. Best of luck to Schafer.

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As a pitcher in the NL in coming seasons, Schafer still would have to know how to do this. (USATSI)