Thursday, December 10, 2015

Brantley News From the 2015 Winter Meetings (December 6-10)

for someone who's not even a free agent or on the trading block, Michael Brantley sure did cause quite a stir at this year's annual Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. why? because there was a lot of conflicting information about his shoulder surgery and subsequent recovery timetable. so i put together all the news i came across each day this week, in chronological order, from all my sources. i also included my own daily thoughts and the reactions i had after reading everything.

Sunday, December 6:

'twas the night before Winter Meetings, when all through Tennessee, the rumor mill was churning, with the focus on Michael Brantley.

Peter Gammons got the ball of fear rolling Sunday night when he let the cat out of the bag in an interview on MLB Network. "i just learned today Michael Brantley's shoulder injury is

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tribe Needs: Looking Ahead to 2016

well, our Cleveland Indians' 2015 season sure did not turn out as everyone had hoped. after Sports Illustrated put the Tribe on their magazine cover and named us as frontrunners to win this year's World Series, we never even made it to the playoffs. instead, we shockingly dropped to 81 wins, down from 85 in 2014 and 90 in 2013 under manager Terry Francona's jurisdiction. this is not the direction that anyone envisioned the Indians would be going in at this point. the task at hand now is mostly up to the front office. new additions to the roster are a must, or else we're in for another year of mediocrity, missed opportunity, and watching other teams play in the October postseason.

in this blog, i go through all the players' contracts and talk about the most sore subject for Tribe fans--the payroll. then i pinpoint our specific needs for 2016 and list players at their positions to see more clearly where we have holes to fill. lastly, following an examination of baseball's current free agents, i name some players that i believe might be a fit for us.

but before we get into all that, i have to acknowledge the biggest Indians news to hit us so soon into the offseason. yes, i'm talking about the

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Brantley Finishes T28th For BBWAA's 2015 AL MVP Award

today, on November 19, MLB Network revealed who won Baseball Writers' Association of America's 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Award. while Michael Brantley was not a finalist this time, he did finish tied for 28th place overall. congratulations! that Michael is even in the conversation for 2015 Most Valuable Player, after all the injuries he suffered and games he missed, is amazing and i am so proud of him.

this year's AL MVP winner is Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays with 385 points. he had 184 hits, 41 doubles, 41 home runs, 123 RBI, 122 runs, 73 walks, 133 strikeouts, .297 batting average, .371 OBP, and .568 SLG in 158 games in 2015. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels came in 2nd behind Donaldson with 304 points, and Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals finished 3rd with 225 points.

the MVP ballot contains 10 spots and no player is ineligible. two writers from each American League city vote for AL MVP and these writers of the BBWAA submit their picks prior to the postseason. once they do, BBWAA's secretary/treasurer, Jack O'Connell, tallies the votes before the finalists and winners are later announced in November.

each spot on the ballot equals a certain number of points. a 1st place MVP vote is worth

Monday, November 16, 2015

What Is Labral Tear Shoulder Surgery?

i'm no doctor and don't know all the specifics of the torn labrum that Michael Brantley had in his right shoulder. but i was curious and concerned and wanted to know what his shoulder surgery entailed. so i did some research online for the details and found an actual labral tear repair surgery on youtube. these videos explain the injury and surgery better than i could in words. again, i'm not sure what part of Michael's labrum was torn, so even if these videos aren't an exact duplicate of what Michael had done, they still give a general idea of the procedure that Dr. Morgan performed on Michael on November 9.

the surgery documented in the following videos was uploaded on September 26, 2011. it was conducted by Dr. Bradford Tucker at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, New Jersey. Dr. Tucker is an assistant team orthopedic surgeon with the Philadelphia Phillies, so i think he's a very good source for an injury of this sort. this is a minimally invasive procedure, and i hope Michael's was done this way also.

warning: if you are a bit squeamish and can't tolerate looking at real human anatomy, i don't recommend watching these videos because they are graphic and show a visible labral tear in a man's shoulder.

Part 1 of the surgery:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Brantley Wins 2015 Bob Feller Man Of The Year Award

hello, Brantley fans! it's been a rough week for Michael, his loved ones, and his fans between the shoulder surgery and losing out on the Silver Slugger Award, but today i have some happy news! on November 12, the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America honored Michael Brantley with the 2015 Bob Feller Man of the Year Award, although the formal public announcement of this career first didn't come until this morning on November 15. congratulations, Michael! you deserve it, especially after the year you had!

the Bob Feller Award is a local Indians MVP award. some form of Man of the Year has been given out since 1937, when Johnny Allen was selected by Cleveland BBWAA writers as the first winner. the award title started as Most Valuable Player (1937-1943), then changed to Indians Man of the Year (1944-2009), before it became Bob Feller Man of the Year (2010-present).

Michael has been nominated for the Man of the Year Award for four consecutive years. he lost to Corey Kluber in 2014, Justin Masterson in 2013, and Vinnie Pestano in 2012. this year, he was up against

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why Brantley Should Have Won a 2015 AL OF Silver Slugger Award

tonight, on November 12, MLB Network revealed the winners of Louisville Slugger's 2015 Silver Slugger Awards.

photo courtesy of @MLBNetwork twitter

right at the top of the show, they unveiled the American League Outfield winners. Michael Brantley was one of five top candidates in the category, but sadly did not take home the hardware this year. instead, the Silver Sluggers for AL outfielders in 2015 were given to Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners, and J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers. (Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays was the other finalist who did not win.) Trout is a center fielder, Cruz is a right fielder/DH, and Martinez is a right fielder.

these players all had remarkable seasons, i'm not trying to state otherwise. my problem here lies

Monday, November 9, 2015

Brantley Has Right Shoulder Surgery, Will Miss Start of 2016 Season

heartbreaking news for the Indians regarding Michael Brantley was revealed on November 9, though clearly Michael knew this was going to happen well before it was announced to the public. the Tribe made it known that earlier today Michael had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder to repair a slight tear of the labrum--a circular ring of cartilage (or piece of rubbery tissue) attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the shoulder in place. Dr. Craig Morgan performed the procedure in Wilmington, Delaware. Michael will be sidelined for 5-6 months and is undoubtedly going to miss the beginning of 2016.

photo cropped off

while everyone was hopeful that

Saturday, October 31, 2015

And The Winner of the 2015 AL Hank Aaron Award Is...

...not Michael Brantley =(

as i wrote in a previous blog, Michael was the Cleveland Indians' nominee for the 2015 AL Hank Aaron Award for the second consecutive season. unfortunately, when the winners were finally revealed today on October 31, neither Michael nor his fans received a treat. Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays was named the American League Hank Aaron Award winner for 2015 while Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was named the NL Hank Aaron Award winner. Donaldson was presented with his award by none other than Hank Aaron prior to Game 4 of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets at Citi Field. Harper was unable to attend.

the Hank Aaron Award is given to the top offensive player in each league every year. Donaldson, with his .297 batting average, 184 hits, 41 doubles, 2 triples, 41 home runs, 123 RBI, 122 runs, 73 walks, 133 strikeouts, and .939 OPS, is this season's best hitter in the American League according to fans and a panel of Hall of Fame players.

so for the 2nd year in a row, Michael was defeated. however,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Brantley Received Votes But Not Named To Sporting News' 2015 AL All Star Team

it's time for all the annual baseball lists and awards to start being unveiled, and today, on October 28, Sporting News announced who made its 2015 American League All Star Team. unlike last year, Michael Brantley was not selected to the team, although he did receive votes.

the Sporting News AL All Star team was picked by a panel of 22 American League, aka Junior Circuit, executives (general managers and assistant general managers). the decisions for this year's 90th anniversary team were made before the playoffs began.

the 3 outfielders chosen for this honor were Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals. the first two players make sense. those were obvious choices. but Cain? he most likely got picked because

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Now Have 13 Michael Brantley Autographs (+1 Surprise)

it's become an offseason tradition for me to post recaps of all the autographs i got from Michael throughout the year once the season is over. in 2013, i wrote a blog detailing the 10 autographs i got from him between 2010 and 2013. then at the conclusion of last year, i wrote a blog telling the story of the 1 time i got his auto during that season. links to those blogs will be provided at the end of this post.

as for 2015, i got his autograph 2 times, giving me a grand total of 13 autographs from none other than Dr. Smooth in my collection. now i will recount exactly how they came about.

i obtained my 12th Brantley autograph on May 23, 2015 in the players parking lot after the game versus the Cincinnati Reds, and i wasn't even originally planning on getting it. i made the decision not to stand over by his truck because i didn't think he'd sign and i wanted to try for some other players' autographs who i knew i wouldn't get by standing over at that gate.

Michael was one of the last players to come out despite not playing in this game. Terry Francona had told him the day before that he would be getting the game off. so why did it take him so long to come out? my guess is he was probably getting treatment for his lower back and/or working with the trainers. (keep in mind, his back strain was still an issue that needed attention at this point in the season.)

Michael walked to his truck and

Friday, October 23, 2015

My Final #s for the Cleveland Indians 2015 Season

truth be told, this is one of my favorite yearly blogs to write. this is when i go through all my organized baseball stuff and tally up my personal numbers for the Cleveland Indians season. i love to see everything that i accomplished during the year. like always, i collected some player autographs, acquired a few baseballs, and took a multitude of pictures and videos at the games i went to. and because i got a new digital camera with 30x zoom and invested in a larger SD card, i was able to capture even more/better quality pics than ever before. i like to take as many pics as possible since i can't watch my boys on TV unless they're on a national channel due to STO being blacked out on the MLB package in my area. these mementos also help lessen my rage over the fact that i live 2 plus hours away from the 216 and can't go to the ballpark as much as i want to.

in true diehard fan form, i spent the entire year, from the beginning of the offseason straight through to the end of the season, engrossed in Indians baseball and Michael's season. 2015 represented the 5th straight year when i didn't miss one out of one inning of one game in real time. once again, i was present for all the Tribe's preseason games and all the 161 regular season games. (i can never say "watched" since i listen to the games on my laptop.) i surprised myself because i really believed this was gonna be the year i'd end my run and miss some games due to life getting in the way. as luck would have it, that was not the case. i managed to set up everything that i needed to do, appointments and such, around the Indians' schedule to make certain that i would not miss any part of any game.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Analyzing The Tribe's 2015 (161 Game) Season

for the second year in a row, the Tribe's record diminished. they barely finished above .500, going 81-80, which is 4 less wins than last season. (thanks a lot, Sports Illustrated. the jinx is real.) yes, the Indians only played 161 games this year. that's because 1 game in September was postponed due to rain and rescheduled for October 5, the day after the regular season ended. however, it was only to be played if the game was going to have any postseason implications. since the Indians were eliminated from postseason play after all the games on October 1 played out, and their opponents (the Detroit Tigers) had already been knocked out long before that, there was no need for the makeup game and so it was officially cancelled. truthfully, the Tribe kind of lucked out that Major League Baseball decided to do it that way because otherwise, they might have lost that game and then ended up finishing at .500.

with manager Terry Francona at the helm, a continued record drop is certainly not ideal. this guy was brought in here... no, he willingly came here, because it was believed that he could turn things around and get the Indians into the playoffs recurrently again. his track record gave everyone confidence that he was the right man for the job and expectations were high. now with this being his third year here, the results are disappointing. the Indians have only made it to the postseason once, and that was to play the wild card playoff game in 2013, which they lost. so thus far, fans are not getting what they'd hoped for.

and while Tito is not the one on the field playing the games, he can be held somewhat responsible for the product that is out there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wrapping Up Brantley's 2015 Season

well, here we are. another season in the books. and boy did this one take some unexpected twists and turns. i never could have predicted that Michael would battle through injuries literally ALL year long and still turn in statistics that a lot of healthy players would kill for. damn, he's good.

i'm going to start this by posting the links to all the past monthly blogs in case anyone wants to refer back to them:
Brantley's April 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's May 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's June 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's July 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's August 2015 #s blog, and
Brantley's September/October 2015 #s blog.

and now for the last time, here are Michael's final #s for the 2015 season:

Michael had a total of 596 plate appearances and 529 at bats in 137 games (1034.2 innings). in total, he had 164 hits, 60 extra base hits, 104 singles, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 5 sac flies, 68 runs, 60 walks, 8 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 15 stolen bases (14 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 14 GIDP, 51 strikeouts (37 swinging, 14 looking), 34 first at bat hits, 254 total bases, 223 left on base, 212 putouts, 8 assists, 2 errors, and 1 double play.

2015 season batting average:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Situational #s, Team Highs, League Rankings, etc.

as i continue to switch things up and do my posts a little differently this year, here is a new blog for you guys, though it will seem somewhat familiar if you've been reading my blogs all season. this one contains Michael's 2015 statistical #s, including his situational statistics, team highs, career highs, league rankings, divisional team stats, Indians History information, and more. if you have not yet read the Brantley's 2015 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes blog or the Brantley's 2015 BOP & LF/CF/DH/PH #s blog, i highly recommend you do so.

in 2015, Michael had a total of 596 plate appearances and 529 at bats in 137 games (1034.2 innings). in total, he had 164 hits, 60 extra base hits, 104 singles, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 5 sac flies, 68 runs, 60 walks, 8 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 15 stolen bases (14 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 14 GIDP, 51 strikeouts (37 swinging, 14 looking), 34 first at bat hits, 254 total bases, 223 left on base, 212 putouts, 8 assists, 2 errors, and 1 double play.

2015 batting average: .310 (164-529)

OBP: .379

SLG: .480

OPS: .859

Michael's .310 batting average was the

Friday, October 9, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Batting Order Position & LF/CF/DH/PH #s

thanks largely in part to Michael's performance last season, his batting order position for 2015 was basically set right from the start of spring training. he bat 3rd in the lineup in 135 of the 137 total games that he played this year. now that Terry Francona has appointed Michael as his 3 hole hitter, this is the most stability Michael's ever had in the order. besides 3rd, he also bat 5th once and 7th once, both times coming during pinch hit appearances on days that he was originally supposed to have off to rest. otherwise, he never would have seen any time outside of 3rd this year. it appears as though he has that spot locked down, and judging by his efficiency there, i think that's a great BOP for him to have. his 163 hits, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, and 60 walks were quite exceptional.

Michael's 68 runs, on the other hand, seem a bit low. let's examine that. overall, he reached base 236 times this season. he brought himself home with his own 15 home runs, and his teammates drove him in the other 53 times. that means the players batting behind him left him on base 168 times total. so while batting 3rd might be the best BOP for Michael, the guys batting after him may need some rearranging. (or upgrading.)

as far as his place in the field, Michael played both left and center field in 2015. he began as the main left fielder, then later saw time as the center fielder. once Michael Bourn began struggling against left-handed starters, Tito decided he would no longer start Bourn in most games that southpaws pitched. therefore,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes

i'm splitting up some of Michael's overall season stats/numbers, as i've done in the past, so that my readers aren't overwhelmed with one giant blog full of a profuse amount of information. you're welcome lol

this first blog mainly focuses on all of Michael's game-by-game numbers and notes for 2015. he battled through a lot of challenges this season, enduring 3 main injuries: a lower back strain, left shoulder inflammation, and right shoulder inflammation. his right shoulder never fully healed and by late September, the Indians decided to shut him down before the year was over. he missed more games this year than in any of his previous full seasons, yet somehow remained a productive contributor in the lineup. Michael played better while not at full strength than some players did healthy, batting at or above .286 for all but 8 games.

truth be told, 2015 ranked as one of Michael's best seasons in the majors. a new career high, new career low, and walk-off hit marked just a few of the exciting highlights of his campaign. while his stats weren't quite as extraordinary as they were a year ago, he still boasted a few team highs. and, even after a less than stellar finish in September, Michael once again owned the highest batting average (.310) on the team, giving him this honor for the 4th year in a row now. outstanding.

Michael played in 137 of 161* games this season and had

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Second Half #s

before i get into Michael's overall 2015 numbers, i'm going to calculate his 2nd half numbers. the format for this blog will be the same as the one i used for his 1st half numbers with the split sections. once again, you can scroll through everything and just read what you find the most interesting, or you can skim each section and focus on the bold/italicized information.

post-All Star break in 2015, Michael had a total of 250 plate appearances and 224 at bats in 58 games (417.2 innings). in total, he had 75 hits, 31 extra base hits, 44 singles, 21 doubles, 10 home runs, 38 RBI, 1 sac fly, 33 runs, 23 walks, 3 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 6 stolen bases (5 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 6 GIDP, 25 strikeouts (21 swinging, 4 looking), 14 first at bat hits, 126 total bases, 94 left on base, 86 putouts, 1 assist, and 1 error.

2nd Half 2015 batting average: .335 (75-224)

OBP: .400

SLG: .563

OPS: .963

2nd Half of July BA: .346

August BA: .406

September/October BA: .237

Michael's .335 batting average in the 2nd half was the

Monday, October 5, 2015

Brantley's September/October 2015 #s

hello again, Brantley fans! thank you to everyone who read my Brantley's August 2015 #s blog and Brantley's 2015 #s Through August blog. i know that the August blog was lengthy (albeit not compared to this one), but i trust you forgave me once you discovered how exciting Michael's incredible month was to read about. i also want to welcome some viewers from Sweden who recently visited my blog for the first time. i'm happy you found my blogspot and hope you continue to come back and read all about Michael!

well here we are again, at the end of another baseball season. the Indians gave it a valiant effort, but it wasn't quite enough to land a wild card spot. don't let yourself get too upset though because i will be writing a plethora of blogs throughout this month of October. so make sure you keep checking back for those, or you can simply subscribe to my emailing list (over on the right side of this page) to always be notified whenever a new post goes live! before we get to all that however, it is time for the final monthly blog of 2015.

note: i want to make it clear that September and October are combined to be 1 month. this is what all the baseball sites do when baseball season runs into October. it wouldn't make much sense to give October its own month for stats when not that many games are actually played. so whenever you see "the/this month" written in this blog, know that i am referring to (both) September/October as one even though Michael did not play in any of the October games.

September/October Overview

i don't know what happened here, guys. after Michael's August sizzle, i never saw this September fizzle coming. he just had one of the best months in his career in August and appeared to be headed for a hot finish. but as soon as the calendar flipped over to September, his bat cooled way down and it was like all the steam had been let out. maybe that last game in August (when he went 0-for-4) was a foreshadowing of things to come and i overlooked it based on how amazing he did in all his previous August games.

Michael went hitless in more games this month than any other month this season and

Brantley Named Indians 2015 Hank Aaron Award Nominee

today, on October 5, one day after the 2015 regular season ended, it was announced that for the second year in a row and second time in his career, Michael Brantley is the Cleveland Indians' nominee for the 17th annual Hank Aaron Award!

screenshot cropped off

the Hank Aaron Award is given to the top offensive player in each league as voted on by fans and, for the 6th consecutive year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players. the panel is led by Hank Aaron himself, comprised of a group of Hall of Famers that Aaron selected to help determine the winners. those HOF players include Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas, and Robin Yount.

this award

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brantley's Career Low 51 Strikeouts

if you haven't heard the news yet, Michael was officially shut down for the rest of the season today after receiving a cortisone shot for his right shoulder inflammation. and because his 2015 season has now ended and all his current numbers are final, that means Michael has set one last record this year. he finished with a career low 51 strikeouts. his previous career low was 56 strikeouts, his season total in both 2012 and 2014.

now, some may argue this shouldn't technically be considered a new career record because Michael only played in 137 total games. that's less than most players who play a full season play. but despite missing more games than usual due to several injuries he battled this year, Michael is still a qualifying player and therefore i am calling this an official career low. congratulations!

Michael's last strikeout of the season came in the game versus the Minnesota Twins on September 28. the Indians were down, 3-1, in the bottom of the 1st inning when Michael came to the plate with 1 out to face left-hander Tommy Milone. after a 1-2 count, Michael swung and missed to give him his 51st strikeout.

Right Shoulder Inflammation Ends Brantley's 2015 Season

this is certainly not how i expected Michael Brantley's season to end, although it is sadly fitting that he's going out much like the way he began the year--with an injury. today, on September 30, it was announced that Michael's season is done, as the Cleveland Indians are shutting him down because of his sore right shoulder.

it all started in the game against the Minnesota Twins on September 22. Aaron Hicks was at the plate facing Danny Salazar in the bottom of the 3rd inning with 2 outs and Eduardo Escobar at 1st base. after a 3-1 count, Hicks sent a line drive to deep center field. Michael ran over a long way to try and make the diving catch, but when he hit the grass, the ball popped out of his glove and rolled onto the warning track. the Twins took a 1-0 lead, and the Indians were about to lose Michael.

Michael came to bat against Ervin Santana in the top of the 4th inning and grounded out to short on an 0-1 count. then when the Indians took their places in the field in the bottom half of the inning, Michael had been subbed out defensively because during his at bat, he felt something in his right shoulder on his extension. that was literally the beginning of the end for Michael's season, though we didn't know it at the time.

he missed the next 4 games from September 23-26 before

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Brantley's 2015 #s Through August

Michael just got done putting together a colossal month in August and that moved him right into the thick of things regarding team highs, league rankings, and even the American League batting race. it was incredible and i am so proud of him! he now has up to 32 games to play in before 2015 comes to an end, and if Michael can do anything close to what he did in August in these final weeks, then strap in tight folks because we are gonna be in for a really fun ride to the finish line. go Brantley!

so far in 2015, Michael has a total of 516 plate appearances and 453 at bats in 117 games (885.1 innings). in total, he has 146 hits, 51 extra base hits, 95 singles, 40 doubles, 11 home runs, 73 RBI, 5 sac flies, 60 runs, 56 walks, 8 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 14 stolen bases (13 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 12 GIDP, 43 strikeouts (31 swinging, 12 looking), 32 first at bat hits, 219 total bases, 187 left on base, 181 putouts, 7 assists, 2 errors, and 1 double play.

2015 batting average through August: .322 (146-453)

OBP: .395

SLG: .483

OPS: .879

Michael's .322 batting average is currently the highest on the team out of all the qualifying players. he now has a 3-point lead on Jason Kipnis, who's batting .319.

note: never before in Michael's career has he been

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brantley's August 2015 #s

hey there, Brantley fans! thank you for reading my Brantley's July 2015 #s blog and Brantley's 2015 #s Through July blog last month. i hope you enjoyed them. i also want to take a minute to say a special HI! to the viewers from Hungary, Singapore, Russia, and the United Kingdom who all visited my blog in the past month! thanks so much for stopping by and reading about Michael!

the offseason is fast approaching now. it's hard to believe after this, i only have one more month of stats to calculate before the 2015 season is over. things are really starting to heat up not only for Michael, but the Indians as well. can they continue to rack up wins and potentially grab a wild card spot? and what will Michael do for an encore in September? i can't wait to find out! but first, let's all relish in what turned out to be an astounding August for Dr. Smooth.

August Overview

there was seemingly no stopping Michael in August--the man was scorching hot! it was quite reminiscent of his MVP-caliber performances every month last season, when he was setting career highs and achieving things he'd never achieved before on the regular. he certainly didn't look like a player fighting through injuries, going through the dog days of summer, and/or battling just to make it to the end of the year. instead, he currently looks primed and ready for a stretch run. and now i am so excited to get into his monthly statistics, some of which are historical! =D

in Michael's first 10 games, he bat .425 (17-for-40) from August 1-13. he was then shut down for a few days with a little left shoulder inflammation. when he came back from that brief 3-day rest (which probably also did some good for his back), he played in 14 more games, batting .393 (22-for-56) from August 17-31. he saw some extra time as the designated hitter this month until his throwing shoulder was ready to carry the left field load, but no matter what his role, Michael put up the best month of his 2015 campaign yet. he earned an August batting average of

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Brantley's Career High 54 Walks

tonight, on August 26, Michael Brantley set his first new career high in the 2015 season. he set SO many career highs last season that i knew it was going to be tough to set many (if any) this year. add that to the health issues he's been battling (his back strain and shoulder inflammation) and the games he had to miss because of them, and it really didn't look like he was going to be able to shatter his old records. but he finally has, and as luck would have it, he did it in a category that he did not set a record in last season--one of just a few, and i do mean few. so i guess that makes it somewhat appropriate that this would be his first new record set this year lol here are the details.

in his 1st plate appearance in the bottom of the 1st inning in a scoreless game versus the Milwaukee Brewers, Michael faced right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson. there was 1 out and

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Brantley's 4th Career Walk-off!

in a marathon 16-inning game versus the New York Yankees tonight, Michael Brantley came through in the clutch and was the Tribe's hero of the midnight hour.

earlier [yesterday] evening on August 11, the first meeting of the season between the Indians and Yankees began at 7:10 pm. it was a battle that lasted until approximately 12:14 am when none other than Michael delivered the winning run for his first walk-off hit of the year and 4th walk-off overall in his career!

photo courtesy of @Indians twitter

the Indians had a 2-0 lead through 5 innings until the Yanks fought back with 2 solo home runs off Carlos Carrasco. first, Stephen Drew hit a solo home run to right field in the top of the 6th inning to cut the Tribe's lead in half. then Carlos Beltran tied it up at 2 in the top of the 8th inning with a solo homer to right.

the game went to the 10th inning and Bryan Shaw came on in relief of Cody Allen. the Yankees loaded the bases after Shaw gave up a walk, single, and single. pinch hitter Chase Headley came into the game and

Monday, August 10, 2015

My Final Thoughts About The 2015 Michael Brantley Bobblehead

photo courtesy of an newsletter

before i got the Michael Brantley bobblehead courtesy of Progressive Insurance, i saw a photo of it and wrote a sneak peek blog with my first impressions about it. now that i've gone to the August 8 game versus the Minnesota Twins and have the Brantley bobble in hand, i can do a final analysis of it. i'm going to include pictures in here so you will know exactly what it looks like and what i'm talking about. all the pics were taken by me and have my watermark on them.

first, here are a couple photos of the box that the bobblehead came in (which, unlike last year, does not have an opening in the front making the bobble visible prior to taking it out of the box):

Friday, August 7, 2015

Goodbye Brohio (and the rest)

over the past 10 days, the Indians have done some dealing and today specifically, on August 7, a big deal went down. so i'm going to take a minute to say goodbye to the 5 men who started 2015 as Cleveland Indians and will now be finishing their years elsewhere. usually i reserve these types of blogs for the guys who've spent a long duration of time with the team, but i will recognize everybody here because i feel like that's the right thing to do.

i briefly acknowledged the David Murphy trade in my latest Brantley blog, but i didn't get into all the details. he was traded on July 28 to the Los Angeles Angels for Double A shortstop, Eric Stamets. Murph's only been with the Indians since 2014 and had the most impact this season, when he was platooning with Ryan Raburn and playing mainly against right-handed starters. he seemed like a nice guy, hell his nickname was "Good Guy." i never had any interaction with him. in all the games i went to in the past 2 years--17 to this point--he never once signed an autograph. never before a game or after in the players parking lot. that disappointed me. but i wish him, his wife Andrea, his daughters Faith and Madison, and son Cole all the best.

Murphy had this to say a few days after the trade:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Brantley's 2015 #s Through July

sorry for the delay on this blog. as i said in the blog i posted yesterday, the worst thing that can happen at the end of a month is the Indians playing late night West Coast games because it cuts my calculation time in half. but everything's all done now so let's jump right into it.

Michael's been looking really good since he got those 4 days off during the All Star break, but as a whole, his stats so far just don't rank very high around the league. it's no secret he's been dealing with a back strain since the first day he reported to spring training, so i don't think you can expect much more from him at this point. that's not to say he's doing bad, but he won't be in the MVP race this year or win another Silver Slugger award. nonetheless, his numbers through July are much better than what some other players would be putting up if they had been playing hurt all season. (just check the stats of some of the Indians who played hurt last year.) with 2 months left in 2015, anything can happen, and for Michael, i hope it's nothing but positive things so he can finish the year out strong.

so far in 2015, Michael has a total of 408 plate appearances and 357 at bats in 93 games (734.0 innings). in total, he has 107 hits, 38 extra base hits, 69 singles, 30 doubles, 8 home runs, 56 RBI, 4 sac flies, 41 runs, 46 walks, 5 intentional walks, 1 hit by pitch, 11 stolen bases (10 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 9 GIDP, 30 strikeouts (19 swinging, 11 looking), 28 first at bat hits, 161 total bases, 149 left on base, 145 putouts, 7 assists, 1 error, and 1 double play.

2015 batting average through July:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Brantley's July 2015 #s

how's it going, Brantley fans? boy this season seems to be flying by fast now. we've only got 2 months left...where has summer gone? anyways, i want to thank everyone who read my Brantley's June 2015 #s blog, Brantley's 2015 #s Through June blog, and Brantley's 2015 First Half #s blog. i also want to say a special "hello!" to the people who viewed my blog in the last month from Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Pakistan! i always get very excited when i receive views from outside the United States. it's so nice to see that there's interest in Brantley all over the world! welcome! =D

and i apologize that this blog is going up a little later than normal, but with the Indians finishing the month on the West Coast and playing late night games, i wasn't able to stay up as late to work on wrapping up his July #s. forgive me? ;D

July Overview

as always, i'm gonna be straight with you. at one point in the beginning of July, it was looking like this would be a long, sad month for Michael. in fact, i was mentally preparing myself for this to be his worst month of the season yet.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Brantley's 2015 First Half #s

the All Star break is upon us, and that means it's time to calculate Michael's 1st half numbers of 2015. usually i do a short version of this blog, but this year i decided i would provide all the details using the new format i recently implemented with the split sections. feel free to scroll through everything to find what most interests you, or skim through each section and focus mainly on the bold/italicized parts.

so far in 2015, Michael has a total of 346 plate appearances and 305 at bats in 79 games (617.0 innings). in total, he has 89 hits, 29 extra base hits, 60 singles, 24 doubles, 5 home runs, 46 RBI, 4 sac flies, 35 runs, 37 walks, 5 intentional walks, 9 stolen bases (2nd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 8 GIDP, 26 strikeouts (16 swinging, 10 looking), 20 first at bat hits, 128 total bases, 129 left on base, 126 putouts, 7 assists, 1 error, and 1 double play.

1st Half 2015 batting average:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brantley Not Selected For MLB's 2015 All Star Game

i was so excited last year when Michael made the AL All Star team for the first time in his career. unfortunately this season, i will not be repeating that joyous feeling. the All Star reserves were announced today and Michael Brantley is not one of them.

this year's Midsummer Classic starters were revealed on July 5 in the 2015 All Star Starters Selection Show on ESPN. as expected, Michael was not one of the three starting American League outfielders. those honors went to Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, and Lorenzo Cain & Alex Gordon* of the Kansas City Royals. the final AL voting results showed that Michael finished 9th out of 15 outfielders.

then on July 6 in ESPN's All Star Selection Show, the All Star reserves, pitchers, and final vote candidates were disclosed.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Brantley's 2015 #s Through June

before i get into this, let me just say that some of Michael's numbers to this point are not where anyone would have expected them to be. in order to get the full story as to why that is, be sure to read my Brantley's June 2015 #s blog in advance of this blog, which contains his overall statistics thus far.

**blogger's note: even though it's been somewhat difficult personally for me to watch various stats of Michael's decrease on a nightly basis, my blogs for this season are not going to stop. yes, Michael may be playing too much and not getting any significant time off to rest and potentially gain some strength back in his back, and consequently his numbers may be suffering. but i started documenting Michael's numbers years ago for a reason and i am no quitter. granted, it has not been as fun this year as in the past because he's having a rough go due to injury. and while there may not be a turnaround coming for him any time soon, i will support him regardless, defend him continuously, and make sure the truth is out there.

Michael is still doing an overall sufficient job, all things considered, but he certainly had higher expectations put upon him this year because of his outstanding 2014 AL MVP-3 season. so far, many could argue there have been numerous times when he

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Brantley's June 2015 #s

how are ya, Brantley fans? thank you to everyone who read my last 2 blogs, Brantley's May 2015 #s and Brantley's 2015 #s Through May. i noticed i got a lot of views from France in the last month, too. merci! beaucoup d'amour à vous!

June Overview

if i was going to give Michael's June a title, i could easily call it "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." it was just an odd month for Michael. he had good games, he had bad games, and he had games where it looked like his back was killing him. he's no longer the consistent player that he's become known as, but i guess that's to be expected considering he's been battling a back strain since day 1 of spring. still, it's unfortunate.

Michael had at least 1 hit in his opening 9 games from June 2-13, batting .333 (11-for-33). but unlike last month, he didn't have a dominating first half of June. in his first 13 games, Michael bat .319 (15-for-47). by no means is that bad, but it wasn't enough to compensate for the remaining 11 games, when he bat only .273 (12-for-44). all-in-all he earned himself a June batting average of

Monday, June 1, 2015

Brantley's 2015 #s Through May

there isn't much i need to say to lead this new blog off. i just figured it would be better to separate all Michael's monthly numbers from his seasonal numbers up to the point in the year that we're at. it's fairly simple. my sections and number break downs will follow the same format as in my monthly blogs, though i have rearranged some things. so without further ado, here is how Michael is doing thus far in 2015.

so far in 2015, Michael has a total of 195 plate appearances and 169 at bats in 43 games (339.0 innings). in total, he has 51 hits, 21 extra base hits, 30 singles, 17 doubles, 4 home runs, 30 RBI, 3 sac flies, 21 runs, 23 walks, 2 intentional walks, 7 stolen bases (2nd), 4 GIDP, 13 strikeouts (8 swinging, 5 looking), 13 first at bat hits, 80 total bases, 77 left on base, 70 putouts, 5 assists, and 1 double play.

2015 batting average through May:

Brantley's May 2015 #s

hello again, Brantley fans! i want to take a moment to thank everyone who read my last blog, Brantley's April 2015 #s, and also welcome some new readers--what's up Moldovans!

as i told you last month, there was going to be an additional change to my Brantley blog break downs that you would not see until now. well here it is. because of the plethora of numbers that i calculate for Michael, i have decided it would be best to do TWO blogs at the end of every month going forward: one documenting Michael's current monthly stats, and the other documenting his overall 2015 stats. so this blog will contain only his #s acquired in the month of May.

shortly after this goes live, i will post another blog with all of Michael's 2015 #s through May. the format for that should be quite similar to how i've been doing my past monthly blogs and will include the new changes i added this year as well. it's gonna be more work for me, but it should make things much clearer for you, which i hope everyone will appreciate.

now let's get into Michael's May.

May Overview

this is what continuing to play through a back injury looks like. all-in-all, it wasn't a

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sneak Peek of the August 8 Michael Brantley Bobblehead Giveaway!

the Indians released their 2015 promotional schedule on January 24, and that is when we learned there was a Michael Brantley bobblehead on it. also at that time, i promised a follow up blog once i found out what that bobble looked like. today, the Indians decided to post a picture of it on their snapchat account. the first 15,000 fans who attend the August 8 game vs. the Minnesota Twins at 7:10 pm will receive this bobblehead courtesy of Progressive:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Brantley's April 2015 #s

i was going to start this off by welcoming you to another season of Brantley blogs, but since i've already written several blogs in 2015, that wouldn't make much sense lol you know what they say, there's really no offseason in baseball.

What's New This Year

--new look: because i have a tendency to write a lot [more than i used to] in the beginning of my blogs before getting into Michael's numbers for the month, i am using some dividers so readers can clearly see what topic(s) i'm going to be talking about. then if you don't want to read about that particular thing, you can simply skip it and scroll down to another section.

--new links: any blog that i've previously written and want to re-link in a monthly blog will be a bold hyperlink so it stands out better for you to see.

--new addition: i'm documenting Michael's #s against the

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vote Brantley For MLB's 2015 All Star Game!

we're not even one full month into baseball season, yet it's already time to vote for our 2015 All Stars. and Brantley fans, this year we have to do better. last year Michael was named to the American League All Star Team as a reserve; let's make him a starter in 2015! =D

Michael's certainly had an eventful start to his season, struggling with a lower back strain that affected his play early on in April. but he seems to have found a way to not only manage the issue, but also still be able to take the field and be a positive contributor for the Indians. talk about resilient. right now he's batting .333, one of the better averages on the team. and with 17 hits, 5 doubles, and 6 RBI in 13 games, it's clear he's doing good things at the plate. i believe he's definitely worthy of being named an All Star for the second year in a row.

so how can you vote?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Brantley Lower Back Strain Timeline

i decided to write this blog to have some place to refer back to, with everything all listed out very clearly, just in case i need it at a later date. we don't know if this lower back strain will cause Michael to be shut down again or put on the DL at any point this season. although, after playing in 6 straight games with no further mention of any issues, things finally look promising. fingers crossed it stays that way.

first it was a sore lower back, then it was a tight lower back, and then it was a stiff lower back. idk if all those are technically the same thing medically, but it was not pleasant news to hear. eventually an MRI confirmed that Michael had a

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Brantley Receives Louisville Slugger's 2014 AL OF Silver Slugger Award!

in what has been a tough start for Michael in 2015, i do have some happy news to report in this short blog. before today's April 12 game at home versus the Detroit Tigers, Michael Brantley was presented with his 2014 AL OF Silver Slugger Award! Indians catcher, Yan Gomes, received his award as well!

photo courtesy of @Indians twitter

Michael won the award for the very first time in his career back on November 6, 2014, earning himself a

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tribe Spring Recap and 2015 Predictions, Thoughts, & Player Evaluations

Happy day before Indians Opening Night! and/or Happy Easter if you celebrate it.

now that my Brantley spring #s and season expectations blog is done, it's time for me to discuss the Indians spring as a whole and how i think things will shape up for the team in 2015.

last year the Indians finished with the best record in spring, and it didn't amount to anything in the regular season. this spring, it was quite the opposite. in 33 games, the team's spring record was 14-18-1, but i have my theories about that. honestly, it seemed like many of the opposing teams we played were

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Brantley's Spring Training 2015 #s and My Expectations

happy days are here again--it's baseball season!

i never really had much of an offseason this year because every time i turned around, Michael made it onto another list or was announced as a finalist for some prestigious baseball award. so i continually had to write new blogs from October to December, and even a few in January. not that i'm complaining. but i kept myself very busy with that, plus a new project i'm working on. stay tuned ;D

going into 2015, a big question on everyone's mind is what

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brantley Ranked 43rd in Baseball Tonight's Top 100 Players

as promised, ESPN's Baseball Tonight unveiled their Top 100 Players going into 2015 on March 30 and 31. the players ranked 100-51 were revealed on the afternoon of March 30 online, while the players ranked 50-26 were revealed online in the afternoon today on March 31. and later tonight, an ESPN2 special, airing at 8 pm EST, will be announcing the Top 25 players.

unfortunately, in what came as a complete shock to me, i did not have to wait for the 8 o'clock show to find out where Michael placed on the list because

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brantley's On the Cover of Sports Illustrated!

what does finishing 3rd in the 2014 American League Most Valuable Player voting get you? your very first cover of SI! yes, that's right. today, on March 24, Michael Brantley made his debut on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine! he shares the honor with 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner and teammate, Corey Kluber. they are both featured in an SI MLB Preview discussing why the Cleveland Indians could win the World Series in 2015. how exciting! here is the picture:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Brantley Ranked 1st in Baseball Tonight's Top 10 Left Fielders

today, on March 23, ESPN's Baseball Tonight revealed their Top 10 left fielders going into 2015. not normally one to care much about ESPN rankings, i figured i would post this on my blog anyways because it's great for Michael.

a panel of MLB writers, analysts, and contributors were put together by ESPN to rank the Top 100 MLB players heading into 2015. a list of more than 300 players was provided to over 60 ESPN experts, who were polled in February and March. that list was narrowed down to the Top 100 based on how well the experts felt the players would perform, on a scale of 0 to 10, in 2015. those results will be announced on March 30 and 31 on a special edition of Baseball Tonight at 8 pm EST on ESPN2. i am very interested in seeing where Michael ranks on that list.

until then however, Baseball Tonight is revealing their Top 10 lists of each position around the diamond. today they kicked it off with the Top 10 left, center, and right fielders, but i am only going to cover the Top 10 left fielders here.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Brantley's Offseason Regimen & 2015 Preparations

the first spring training game is tomorrow--finally! but instead of waiting until spring is over to write a blog, i'm doing something different this year. i thought it'd be a good idea to write a blog about how Michael's offseason went, including what he did, things he worked on, and how he spent his free time, before he and the team get back to the grind.

so how exactly does an All Star/Silver Slugger/MVP Finalist prepare himself in hopes of having an even better season?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Brantley Ranked 21st in MLB Network's Top 100 Players Right Now

with spring training games right around the corner, MLB Network aired the 4th installment of their 5-part series entitled "Top 100 Right Now" tonight on February 27 at 9 pm EST. the show ranked the Top 100 major league players currently in baseball going into 2015. Greg Amsinger, Ron Darling, and Bill Ripken counted down players from 100-81, 80-61, 60-41, 40-21, and 20-1 in 5 one-hour specials over 3 days from February 25-27.

this annual list is based on the players' performances over the past three seasons, with a particular emphasis on the most recent (2014). other criteria taken into consideration for these rankings includes projected performance for the upcoming season, defensive position, individual accolades, and the intangibles they bring to game (ex. team leadership).

photo courtesy of @MLBNetwork twitter

a little more than one month ago, Michael had been ranked as the 3rd best left fielder in the game by MLB Network's The Shredder. because of that and the fact that Michael won the 2014 AL OF Silver Slugger Award PLUS finished 3rd in the 2014 American League MVP voting, i had high expectations. i wanted

Friday, February 13, 2015

Will Brantley Be "Worse" In 2015?

this has been a hot topic of interest lately. will Michael Brantley have a significant drop in production in 2015? of course i say no, but not everyone out there in the baseball world agrees with me.

i was inspired to write this blog partially in thanks to the ESPN blog that came out today ranking the top 6 baseball teams going into spring training, which i'm NOT going to link here because i dislike all things ESPN with a passion and am not going to promote them. my motivation also came from the fact that several other media members have been saying how Michael is going to regress in 2015 and won't put together the same type of season as the one he just had in 2014. now it's time for me to speak out with my rebuttal. get ready, cause i'm about to go hard for my boy lol ;D

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another Brantley Bobblehead Giveaway!

today, on January 24, the Indians unveiled their 2015 promotional schedule at the 3rd annual Tribe Fest at Progressive Field. and i am very happy to report that there is a Michael Brantley bobblehead giveaway on the schedule for the Saturday, August 8 game against the Minnesota Twins! the first 15,000 fans will receive this bobble. game time is 7:05 pm and there will also be a Rock 'N Blast fireworks show after the game. you know i'll be there!

so the first thing i thought after seeing this promo was "is this the same bobblehead that they're giving away during spring training this year on March 7? the Silver Slugger bobble? or is it going to be different, and maybe somehow represent Michael being an MVP finalist or first time All Star?" since the specifics of the bobblehead were not made clear on the promo sched, i asked this very question,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Brantley Ranked 3rd in MLB Network's Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now

tonight, on January 22 at 10 pm EST, MLB Network aired a show entitled "Top 10 Right Now: Left Fielders." it ranked the top 10 left field players currently in baseball going into 2015 according to MLB Network's Shredder. The Shredder takes many statistical factors into consideration and operates without bias when compiling these rankings, much to the dismay of a lot of fans. needless to say, this isn't a list worth taking too seriously one way or the other.

photo courtesy of @MLBNetwork twitter

even though Michael spent time in both left and center field last year, i knew he would be in this Top 10 list, and because of his stats from 2014, i assumed that he would probably place near the top. however,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Brantley Finishes 3rd in MLB Network's 2014 Top Breakout Performers Countdown

tonight, on January 18 at 10 pm, MLB Network aired a show entitled "Top Breakout Performers Of 2014."

screenshot cropped off

knowing how close Michael Brantley was to winning the Breakout Player of the Year GIBBY Award, i figured he would be pretty high on this Top 40 countdown.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

And MLB Network's 2014 Face Of The Tribe Is...

...not Michael Brantley =(

yesterday i wrote that fans were able to vote for Michael for the Face of the Tribe by using the hashtags #MichaelBrantley and #FaceOfTRIBE on both twitter and facebook. this morning, MLB Network announced that the winner is Corey Kluber. congratulations!

photo courtesy of @MLBNetwork

on January 30, Kluber will go head-to-head with the Face of the Rays (who is being voted on right now) in his pursuit of becoming the 2014 Face of MLB. the bracket showing all the pairings can be found here.

i kind of assumed Kluber would end up winning because he won the 2014 AL Cy Young Award. but the vote was a lot closer than expected.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Brantley Silver Slugger Bobblehead Revealed

who's up for another Brantley surprise today? this one's pretty sweet.

so back on November 21, 2014, the Indians' promotional schedule for spring training 2015 came out and it included a Michael Brantley Silver Slugger Bobblehead giveaway on March 7. and if you recall, i was extremely upset about not being able to get this bobble.

well today, in honor of it being National Bobblehead Day, the Goodyear Ballpark twitter account revealed what Michael's special bobblehead looks like:

Vote Brantley For MLB Network's 2014 Face Of The Tribe!

Happy New Year, Brantley fans! i hope the offseason hasn't been too devoid of Brantley news for you. but i've got a surprise. the time has come for MLB Network's annual Face of MLB vote. fans have already chosen the faces of a number of teams, and today it's time to vote for the face of the Tribe.