WASHINGTON -- Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer was in the lineup Monday against the Nationals, one day after leaving Sunday's game against the Marlins after he was hit in the head by the knee of shortstop Jose Reyes while making a head-first slide into second. Schafer was dizzy following Sunday's game.
Schafer, who injured his left hand making a head-first slide last year with the Braves, says he's not about to quit sliding head first. In fact, Schafer says he physically can't slide feet first.
"There's a very good chance I'd tear my ACL if I slid feet first, so I don't even mess with it," he said. "People tell me all the time it's dangerous sliding head first, especially with the injuries I've had to my hands. There's a very high chance of me doing serious damage [to my legs] if I slide feet first. It's just not something I'm very good at."
Schafer, who wears a brace on his left hand when running the bases to protect it from injury, has practiced sliding feet first throughout his pro career, and even has gotten pretty good at sliding on the slick mats used during slide practice in Spring Training. But doing it in a game? That's another story.
"If there's a double play to try to break up, I'll try, but it's more of like a roll than a slide," he said. "Or if there's a play at the plate I'll slide, but it's not very good. For the most part, I always slide head first."