No one is shocked Michael Brantley only played 90 games last season. However, it is surprising the reason was a pair of right ankle injuries, the last sending him to the DL on Aug. 9. He returned for the last two games of the regular season plus three playoff tilts. Once the Tribe was eliminated, Brantley had surgery to stabilize the ligaments in his right ankle with an estimated return coinciding with the beginning of spring training. When healthy, Brantley was productive, but he fell a little short of 2014-15 levels with a .299/.357/.444 slash line. He may have been playing hurt most of the season. Even so, Brantley popped nine homers and was 11-for-12 stealing bases, providing hope he can run effectively when healthy. Still just 30 years old, Brantley remains a health liability, but the chance for double-digit homers and steals in a solid lineup with a plus average is worth the risk, especially with an injury discount.
Brantley (ankle) is expected to make his Cactus League debut Wednesday, T.J. Zuppe of The Athletic Cleveland reports. Brantley is recovering from October ankle surgery. He appeared as a designated hitter in a minor-league game last Wednesday and is set to play in the outfield in another minor-league game Monday. While his Opening Day status remains up in the air, he isn't expected to miss much time once the season begins, barring setbacks.
Manager Terry Francona announced Thursday that Brantley (ankle) should be able to return sometime around Opening Day, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Francona seemed encouraged about Brantley's progress during his interview Thursday. He said that the outfielder's status for Opening Day is still up in the air, but if he does miss the opener, he won't miss it by much. Based on the skipper's comments, it sounds like Brantley is shaping up to join the Indians' starting lineup a week or two into the season at the latest.
Brantley (ankle) was the designated hitter in a minor-league game Wednesday but did not run the bases, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Although he has yet to run the bases, it seems like Brantley's rehab program is being fast-tracked a bit. The embattled outfielder partook in outfield drills Thursday and is "doing terrific" according to manager Terry Francona. No timetable for his return was revealed, but things appear to be looking up.
Brantley (ankle) returned to camp after dealing with an illness and is expected to start the baserunning portion of his running program in the coming days, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Brantley was sent home due to an illness that went around the team's clubhouse Thursday, but he appears to have recovered from this ailment and is ready to move forward with his return from right ankle surgery. He faced live pitching earlier this week, in addition to ramping up a running program and starting defensive drills over his last couple workouts. Manager Terry Francona has yet to discuss Brantley's availability for Opening Day, so continue to monitor this situation throughout the rest of spring camp.
Brantley (ankle) was sent home due to illness Friday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Brantley took another step forward in his return from ankle surgery in recent days, as he advanced to agility drills and hitting against live pitching for the first time since undergoing a procedure in mid-October. There seems to be some sort of bug going around the Indians' clubhouse as Danny Salazar was also sent home, but they should both be fully recovered from this ailment within the next couple days.