|screenshot cropped from indians.com|
i am stunned about this considering just yesterday Terry Francona said that any talk of putting Michael on the DL was
premature. i took the reports at their word that this was simply a case of him experiencing some general shoulder fatigue and soreness due to the increase in the volume of his workload. apparently, it's more serious than that if he needed to be put on the DL. sigh.
Michael was given the first game in May off to go with the Indians' off day on May 2 for a two day rest. then Michael played four consecutive games from May 3-6, which i personally believe contributed to the fatigue and inflammation. he got May 7 off to rest before playing May 8 and 9. he has not played in a game since May 9, when he went 0-for-4 with four groundouts against the Houston Astros. to this point in 2016, Michael has appeared in 11 games, putting together a .231 batting average (9-for-39) with seven RBI and only two extra base hits--both doubles.
on May 10 it came out that Michael's shoulder was not bouncing back in ideal fashion and he would be getting the next two games off.
from a tweet via Zack Meisel, Francona discussed the situation. "i'm kind of kicking myself a little bit. i think we might have gone a little too far, too much, too fast. i didn't want to do that and i think we probably did. we're going to give him tonight and probably tomorrow with the day off [May 12], just to allow him to bounce back like we want him to. it's hard to do that, but i think it makes sense. we just want to make sure he isn't playing two, sitting two and not being the kind of hitter he can be. i don't think that's fair to him. we talked about it for a while. i don't think he's thrilled, but i think it makes sense."
Meisel further tweeted he was told that Michael would not need an MRI.
Michael was to be re-evaluated in Cleveland on May 13, where he was seen playing catch with a trainer on the field in the afternoon. (Hayden Grove took video of that.) Tito said Michael was doing better, would be examined by the doctors later, and that talk of the DL was premature.
and then here we are today, May 14, and Michael is in fact on the disabled list. not only that, but according to Jordan Bastian, the MRI he had on Friday didn't show anything alarming in Michael's shoulder. yes, the MRI he wasn't supposed to need. this doesn't bode well as far as integrity goes, but i'm betting that after Francona met with the media, the doctors decided to send him for a precautionary MRI. Ryan Lewis revealed it was done during last night's game.
Paul Hoynes tweeted that Michael will be visiting with Dr. Morgan, the surgeon who performed his surgery, on Tuesday [May 17], in Wilmington, Delaware.
Bastian's article on indians.com had some thoughts from the manager. "[Brantley is] not recovering at times as much as he wants, and he's got some soreness in there. even if he's fine, say, Wednesday [May 18], we need to ramp him back up, because the more time he's down, the more time it takes. it just seemed like not a fun call, but an easy one."
T.J. Zuppe provided more in his article on cleveland.cbslocal.com. "there wasn't a reason to hold him back," Francona declared. "if we operated under those scenarios, we may never play a game. i think you try to make the best decisions you can. sometimes guys either don't feel well or get hurt. that's part of the game. you don't ever want it to happen because you made a poor decision. the better decisions you make, the fewer problems you run into. we try not to react to a win or a loss or what our record is. we try to make decisions based on what's right for the player.
"i think we've tried to do it appropriately. i think the trainers feel like he's in much better shape now than he was in spring training, which i think is well... it makes sense to do this and give us some time to get him, where he comes back, hopefully he can stay back and not have to mess with this." (Zuppe further posted two short videos of Tito's media presser here and here.)
lastly, Meisel included whether Francona felt Michael would be dealing with this all season in his article on cleveland.com. "i hope not. for his sake, for everybody's sake, i hope not. i think it's something he'll have to manage. he had surgery. but even last week, he really felt like he was coming and getting better. i think he was really pleased."
while this setback is very unfortunate and frankly quite sad, at least Michael was honest with the team and trainers and did not try to push himself. he said he would be, he said the front office and everyone trusts him, so it's good that that is all true.
when will we see Michael back out on the field? who knows. is he going to need to go on a rehab assignment again? no idea. the only thing that's for certain is that they'll absolutely be more careful with Michael when he comes back this time than they were the first time around. and hopefully this doesn't happen again.
be sure to follow me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 because i will be tweeting all the updates i see about Michael as they are revealed.
and for more information about Michael's shoulder journeys, from his surgery to his rehab to his (first) activation from the DL, you can check out these blogs:
Brantley Has Right Shoulder Surgery, Will Miss Start of 2016 Season
What Is Labral Tear Shoulder Surgery?
Brantley News From the 2015 Winter Meetings
Brantley Confirmed For Tribe Fest 2016 + Health Updates
Brantley News & Shoulder Rehab Progression Through January 2016
Brantley's February 2016 Shoulder Updates & Hitting Program News
Brantley's March 2016 Hitting Advancements (Soft Toss to ON THE FIELD BP!)
Brantley To Open Indians' 2016 Season On 15-Day DL
Brantley's 2016 Spring Training & In-Season Rehab Details
Brantley's 2016 Cactus League & Minor League Rehab #s and My Expectations
PS--Michael Brantley turns 29 years old tomorrow. i know it will be hard, but i hope, somehow, he has a Happy Birthday! we will all wish you good health!
PPS--it might make Michael feel better if everyone voted for him for the 2016 All Star Game!