Jordan Schafer #1 of the Houston Astros steals second base in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Generally, you would assume that a team that stops giving regular playing time to a guy with a .216/.304/.304 batting line would be better off. Even if that guy were a shortstop or a catcher, but especially if that guy were an outfielder.
This time, maybe not so much. This team is your 2012 Houston Astros, perhaps the only team in recent memory for which it's actually bad news when a player who can't hit gets knocked out of action.
It's been a long wait for Barnes, who the Astros drafted more than seven years ago. He advanced through the minors slowly, and actually spent some time playing in Australia last year. He's no longer considered a prospect, but considering his decent performance in the minors this season -- first in double-, then triple-A -- we shouldn't be shocked if he out-produces Schafer, assuming he gets a chance to play. Which he probably won't, since Justin Maxwell's been getting a lot of the playing time in center field lately, and is one of the few Astros who hasn't been terrible at the plate.
Schafer's got a separated shoulder, with no timetable reported yet for his return.