The reason? His swollen right big toe barely fit into his other shoe, and when he had to put it on to take batting practice, it was a tight squeeze.
As a result, the Astros center fielder is out of the series opener against Los Angeles and possibly longer. He was optimistic he'd be ready to play on Saturday, but manager Brad Mills wasn't so sure.
Schafer sustained the injury when he fouled a ball off his toe earlier in the week. It broke part of his toenail and became infected and swollen, meaning Schaeffer needed a procedure to remove part of the nail.
"In the middle of the night it started killing me," Schafer said. "I didn't sleep one wink. It was throbbing the entire time and just killing me."
Schafer also missed two games earlier in the week with a lower leg strain.
Mills said he had planned to give the left-handed-hitting Schafer the night off anyway, with the team facing Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw.
Then he saw the toe, eliminating any chance Schafer might enter the game late as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner.
"It is gross," Mills said. "You can hardly look at it."
Schafer noted it looked much worse before he had the blood drained out of the toe.
Schafer, who is hitting .248 this season with 13 stolen bases, said it felt better on Friday and he targeted Saturday's game as his hope for a return.
Mills noted that Schafer getting through an entire batting practice session was a good sign. But he said he doesn't want to bring him back too early and risk aggravation.
"It just looks really sore," Mills said. "It's red and swollen and it just looks bad. We want him to get well."