Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley missed nearly the entire 2016 season due to a shoulder injury, and that ailment could cost him time in 2017 as well. 

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Brantley May Not Be Ready for 2017

Thursday, Sept. 29

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, a source indicated that Brantley could miss significant time in 2017 after undergoing surgery on his shoulder that reportedly involved “re-anchor[ing] the muscle to the bone.”

Brantley missed the start of 2016 due to the injury, and after appearing in 11 games, he went back on the shelf and underwent season-ending biceps tenodesis surgery in August.

Despite reports of a longer recovery, Indians president Chris Antonetti told Heyman the following: “Nothing new on Michael. He underwent biceps tenodesis surgery with an expected recovery time of four months.”

The 29-year-old star hit just .231 with no home runs and seven RBI in 11 games this year following the two best seasons of his career.

Brantley was an All-Star for the first time, won his first Silver Slugger Award and finished third in American League MVP voting by virtue of his .327 batting average, 20 home runs, 97 RBI and 23 stolen bases two years ago.

He followed that up with another superb campaign in 2015, hitting .310 with 15 homers, 84 RBI and 15 swipes.

Brantley entered 2016 on the disabled list after suffering a shoulder injury, however, and missed a few weeks before returning to action near the end of April. He went back on the 15-day DL after just 11 contests because of further issues with his shoulder.

After that, Indians manager Terry Francona placed some blame on himself for rushing Brantley back into the lineup, according to Zack Meisel of “I’m kind of kicking myself a little bit. I think we might have gone a little too far, too much, too fast. I didn’t want to do that, and I think we probably did.”

Despite being without Brantley for nearly the entire season, the Tribe reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013 on the strength of a dominant starting rotation.

Cleveland has also received stellar play from other outfielders such as Tyler Naquin, Rajai Davis and Lonnie Chisenhall.

The return of Brantley next season promises to give the Indians a huge offensive boost regardless of when it happens, but until it does, they need Naquin to keep up his high level of play, since he is the closest thing they have to a five-tool outfielder aside from Brantley.


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