The Cleveland Indians have managed to remain in first place in the AL Central despite some of their key players getting injured. They are now going to have to deal with not having outfielder Michael Brantley for a few weeks.
On Wednesday, the Indians placed Brantley on the 10-day disabled list. He suffered a right ankle injury while playing the outfield during the fifth inning of the Indians game against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night in Cleveland. After the game, Indians manager Terry Francona said that Brantley has a sprained right ankle.
The Indians official Twitter account put out a tweet on Wednesday morning that reiterated what Francona had said about the injury. Less than an hour later, they tweeted out an update stating that Brantley had been placed on the 10-day DL.
– Michael Brantley placed on 10-day DL (ankle).
– Erik Gonzalez recalled from Triple-A Columbus. pic.twitter.com/X1pnuQr6A2
To take Brantley’s spot on the 25-man roster, the Indians recalled utility player Erik Gonzalez.
Although the Indians wil not have Brantley for the next 10 days, the good news is that his injury is not that serious. Earlier in the season, he spent time on the DL because of an injury to the same ankle. He missed almost two weeks of action and returned in late June. When he hurt the same ankle on Tuesday night, it was initially feared that the injury was much more serious and could have kept him sidelined for a long period of time. Luckily, this is not going to be the case.
Brantley has had a very good season. In 88 games, he is batting .299 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs. Earlier this year, he was named to the American League All-Star Team for just the second time in his career. Brantley had shoulder surgery prior to the 2016 season. He returned in April, but only ended up playing in 11 games before his right shoulder started bothering him again. He did not play for the remainder of the 2016 season.
The way he has played this season, Brantley is one of the top candidates for the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award. As long as he continues to play well after his DL stint is up, he should have a legitimate chance to win the award.
With less than two months left in the regular season, the Indians still have time to get healthy before the playoffs start. Their All-Star closer Andrew Miller is still recovering from knee tendinitis. He was placed on the DL last week. Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin has a hamstring strain and will most likely miss six weeks. Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall strained his right calf last month and is still not ready to return. All of these players should be able to recover before October rolls around.
Fortunately, Brantley’s injury is not that serious. Because of his shoulder injury, he was unable to contribute when the Indians went on their playoff run and got to the World Series last year. As long as he gets healthy and his team stays in first place, Brantley will get the chance to be a part of the fun this postseason.