The Indians are going to the postseason as American League Central Champs for the first time in nine seasons starting a week from today, but that doesn’t mean they are not also focused on the future.
One positive aspect already about 2017 is the return of outfielder Michael Brantley, whose shoulder allowed him to play in just 11 Major League games this season.
The Indians and their fans, as well as Brantley, were hit with an interesting bombshell today about his recovery, a story from Jon Heyman of Todays Knuckle Ball which says Brantley could miss “significant” time next season.
Not much has been said about the recovery for Brantley, but Heyman says in the article the following about Brantley:
Sources familiar with Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley’s shoulder surgery suggest they believe it is quite serious, and that he could in fact miss significant time next season.
Word based on those sources is that “they had to re-anchor the muscle to the bone.”
Brantley, who had the surgery a month ago, has been hopeful to return at full strength next spring, and the Indians still say they have been given a timetable of four months for this type of injury/surgery.
Today in Detroit, Zach Misel of Cleveland.com talked right to the guy coming back from the injury – that being Brantley, who seemed as surprised as anyone about the report.
Michael Brantley, upon being shown a report that he could miss time in 2017: "Already? Man. Maybe he knows something I don't."
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 29, 2016
No matter how far the Indians go this postseason, getting Brantley back is a big deal, and it’s interesting that already there’s been speculation that he’ll miss time next season.