This is a pretty jarring way to open an offseason week. The Cleveland Indians have announced that star outfielder Michael Brantley underwent surgery on his right shoulder Monday morning and his recovery time is expected to be five to six months.
Given that this is the offseason, normally the timetables aren't a huge deal, but six months from right now is May 9.
Why didn't Brantley have the procedure sooner?
Indians and Brantley thought surgery wasn't necessary at end of season. He did 2-week rehab program after season, but discomfort persisted.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 9, 2015
Brantley, 28, hit .310/.379/.480 (130 OPS+) with 15 homers, 84 RBI, 15 steals and an MLB-best 45 doubles last season. He walked more than he struck out (60 walks to 51 strikeouts), too. In 2014, he finished third in the AL in MVP voting.
So, yes, this is a huge blow to the Indians. Even a speedy recovery puts Brantley's status for the beginning of the season in doubt.
Without Brantley, the Indians right now are left with Lonnie Chisenhall, Abraham Almonte and Jerry Sands are their projected starting outfield. That's rather unimpressive. Of course, there have been whispers that they could trade young pitching (Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar) for outfield help and the Brantley injury makes one wonder if that's even more likely now.
Regardless, this is a pretty sour way to begin the offseason in Cleveland.