just a reminder: from here on out, you will be getting two blogs from me after every month ends. the first will contain Michael's numbers and other information from the month that just wrapped. the second is going to detail his cumulative stats in 2016 and will be linked at the end of my monthly post.
now without further ado, let's get into Michael's May, because, even though he didn't play many games, there's still a lot to cover.
May did not turn out how anybody had hoped for Michael. while i think we were all aware that he wouldn't be able to play a "full" month, no one was prepared for the
shoulder inflammation setback he suffered, which landed him on the 15-Day DL and kept him there past his potential activation date (May 25). it's currently unknown when he'll be back playing with the Indians again, and it's anyone's guess as to whether he can sustain the remainder of the season without another stint on the disabled list once he does return.
in the short amount of time that Michael saw game action in May, he compiled a .318 batting average, going 7-for-22. that was enough to raise his overall BA to .231, a whopping 113 points (almost double!) from what it was at the end of April. having not played that much in April either, however, it was pretty easy to bring up his average as long as he avoided any big slumps.
despite having only one extra base hit--a prophetic red flag about the state of his shoulder to some--this month was beginning to show real promise for Michael as he drove in six runs in just six games. he looked to be getting back to his usual self at the plate up until he was rendered hitless in the final game he played in, no doubt due to the soreness he was experiencing which turned out to be inflammation. i will now break the month down, series-by-series, to explain how that came to be.
Michael didn't play the Tribe's first game in Philadelphia against the Phillies because they wanted to couple the May 2 off day with a scheduled day off and give him two full days of rest. he certainly needed that because when the team arrived home to play the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, he played five out of those six games.
he had a tremendous series versus the Tigers, going 6-for-12 in three games, then put up a 1-for-6 showing in two games versus the Royals. during this homestand, Michael played four straight games for the first time since coming off the DL in April. i personally believe that was too much, too fast and it presumably caused the shoulder inflammation that led to him going back on the DL in less than three weeks from his activation.
after the homestand, the Indians hit the road for a quick 3-game series against the Houston Astros. Michael played the first game and went 0-for-4 before news broke that he was feeling shoulder soreness and not bouncing back the way everyone wanted. he did not play the last two games in Houston; the Tribe had an off day after that.
when the Minnesota Twins came to town to begin the next series, Michael still was not in the Tribe's starting lineup. the following day, he was placed on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation. he therefore missed all three games versus the Twins as well as two games at home versus the Cincinnati Reds.
next up on the schedule for the Indians was an 8-day, 9-game road trip. the earliest Michael could possibly be activated from the DL was on the final day of the trip. however, going into it, everyone knew that was unlikely because he was shut down and prohibited from hitting during that entire time. overall, he missed two games against the Reds, three games against the Boston Red Sox, and four games against the Chicago White Sox.
the month of May ended with five games back at Progressive Field, including three versus the Baltimore Orioles and two versus the Texas Rangers. Michael was slowly starting to take dry swings and hit off a tee at that point, but remained on the DL and did not have clearance from the medical staff to rejoin the team prior to May's conclusion.
while the month was clearly not ideal and the fact that he endured another setback is worrisome, it's still early in the season. i think there's plenty of time left for Michael to get this under control. and when he finally returns, if his shoulder is healthy and can manage the daily baseball grind again, then we should eventually see the Michael we all know and love to cheer on back on the field again. they won't all be outstanding games, but i'm optimistic Michael will do well as a whole because i believe in him.
Areas Of Concern
like last month, i can't be too concerned about any specific areas yet because Michael did not play enough for a justified critique. my only concern now is that his shoulder is going to nag him every time he attempts to increase his workload, and he will have to be shut down/put back on the DL repeatedly. either that, or god forbid next time he tries to come back, his shoulder will bother him again and the doctors will determine he needs another surgery, resulting in essentially a lost season for Michael. i hope this does not end up true.
When Michael Plays, 2-3-4 = Kip-Lindor-Brant
the Indians lineup has mostly been a merry-go-round in these first two months of 2016. it was beginning to develop more uniformity as of late but prior to that, the majority of the players didn't know where they were going to bat from one day to the next. the only thing that's been certain is whenever Michael plays, Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, and Michael consistently hold the 2-3-4 spots in the order. and actually, i could probably also add how Mike Napoli always bats directly behind Michael in the 5th spot when he starts as well. but the rest of the spots are up for grabs.
Terry Francona constructed his lineup this month seemingly regardless of if the opposing starter was right-handed or left-handed. initially sold on the Carlos Santana will lead off for the foreseeable future plan, Tito has done a little backpedaling. Santana and Rajai Davis are now sharing duties at the top of the order. in games Michael played before going on the 15-Day DL, Santana led off five while Davis led off one--and that was with a right-hander on the mound.
in the Indians' 29 total games in May, here's who saw time in the leadoff spot: Jose Ramirez - one game, Santana - 16 games, and Davis - 12 games. with Michael out for the last 21 games, the lineup slowly became a little more regular. whenever Davis led off, Santana usually bat 5th behind Napoli, and when Santana led off, Davis bat 9th and Ramirez bat 5th quite a bit. apparently it just depended on who all Tito wanted in his lineup on any given day and how he could best balance everybody out.
when Michael was in the starting lineup, the guys batting in the 6th and 7th spots included Yan Gomes, Marlon Byrd, Lonnie Chisenhall, Santana, Juan Uribe, and Ramirez. and early on in the month, not all of these guys were performing well at the plate.
in May, Michael reached base a total of 9 times via hits and walks. he scored 4 runs as a result of someone batting behind him. (he didn't drive himself home at all because he didn't hit any home runs this month.) in such a small sample size, it's a bit disturbing that he was brought home less than 50% of the time he got on base. undoubtedly, the aforementioned guys need to do better.
last month i touched on how Michael might lose out on runs scored if Napoli struggled behind him in the order. this month i thought of something else. if Lindor continues to hit well in the 3rd spot (and so far the league hasn't been able to figure out how to stop him), he might possibly take some RBIs away from Michael. this wasn't much of an issue when Lindor was batting 2nd because he was mainly batting to get on base then. now, Lindor has a better chance of coming to the plate with runners on and potentially driving them home as a result. once Michael finally gets back to playing regularly, we'll see how many times Lindor clears the bases ahead of Michael's ABs. sigh. i miss Michael batting in the 3 hole. truthfully, i just really miss Michael being healthy and batting at all.
A New Daily Regimen and Some Help with His Swing
Michael had a scheduled off day on May 1, but at night i came across an article by Jerry Crasnick on espn.go.com containing some information that none of my usual sources had ever written about. because Michael's been doing double duty trying to come back from his shoulder surgery while playing with the Indians, he has developed a new workout program.
NOTE: this was all before Michael went back on the disabled list again, so please keep that in mind while reading everything i pulled from this article.
this season, Michael's routine entails arriving at the ballpark early and going through a specific regimen of warm-up exercises to activate his shoulder before games. in addition, he stays late after games to work on shoulder strengthening exercises. the Indians are also monitoring his workload, mixing in regular rest and not pushing him so quickly that he suffers a setback.
"if it was up to me, i'd try to play every single day," Michael confessed. "that's my mentality. but at the same time, you have to be smart. it's a long season. it's a grind. the healthier i am each and every day, the better i'm going to be for my teammates. they've built some days in, but i also have the right to sit down and talk to them as well. i think i've earned the trust of the manager and the medical staff and our front office to kind of feel things out. we're going to go through it together and make the right decisions."
said Terry Francona, "we told Michael early on, 'hey, having you back for two out of three is better than not having you. he's the one that wants to play because he cares so much. if we use good judgment early on, we won't have to worry about it later. but it's hard because he wants to play. i get it. i just don't want him to hurt himself out of feeling he owes it to the team."
besides some new exercises to aid in his return to normalcy, Michael also enlisted the help of someone close to him, as claimed in an article on scout.com by Hayden Grove. who might that be? Michael called his father, former Major League hitting coach, Mickey Brantley of course. Michael had not been happy with his swing, so he brought in Mickey to work with him in the batting cage after the Tribe game on May 3.
while Mickey believed Michael's timing was the problem, Michael felt he just needed more time at the plate to get his smooth swing back. "it's going to take a little bit of time. i had some rehab games, but it's only, what, five or six games that i've played in so far this year where i've played a full game, so it's going to take a little bit of time, but i'm close."
when Michael met with the media after the game on May 5, his shoulder was wrapped with ice, as can be seen in Ryan Lewis' youtube video. Grove tweeted Michael said it was for maintenance. and in the May 7 Terry's Talkin' post on cleveland.com, Terry Pluto exposed that Michael's been wearing a huge ice bag after games as a precaution, but his shoulder had been holding up well to that point in time.
Shoulder Fatigue (May 10-14)
when Michael wasn't in the lineup for the May 10 game against the Houston Astros, i inferred it was because Terry Francona wanted him to play the following day to face a starting pitcher he had good career numbers against. alas, that was not an accurate assumption.
Zack Meisel tweeted that Michael would rest today and likely tomorrow [May 11] because, according to Francona, his shoulder was not bouncing back in ideal fashion.
a subsequent tweet from Meisel included Tito's thoughts on 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 [Thursday], 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 today. i don't think he's thrilled, but i think it makes sense."
Meisel's evening article on cleveland.com offered that Francona was further questioned about whether this was simply of a case of soreness. he replied, "i would say it's probably more the bouncing back. recovery is probably the biggest thing. i'm sure everybody out there that has had surgery is probably going to have some soreness. i think that happens. we watch these guys pretty carefully and get to know their mannerisms. we sat and talked a little bit. i just thought it made sense."
later on, Meisel also tweeted he was told Michael will not have an MRI, and that this is just a matter of fatigue/recovery issues following an increased volume of playing time.
more favorable news came on May 11 when Meisel posted on twitter that Michael's shoulder was feeling better and the Indians would re-evaluate him in Cleveland on Friday [May 13]. Meisel's cleveland.com article additionally reported that Michael was expected to take batting practice on Friday as well.
before the Indians' afternoon game, Andre Knott, in-game reporter for SportsTime Ohio, delivered an injury update on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel. he said the main thing that Michael's dealing with that's a bother is just the general soreness the next day after playing. "he feels great at 7 o'clock when the game starts, but it's the next morning how he feels." Knott commented how one of the last swings Michael took in the May 9 game just didn't look like him. then he misspoke when he went on to say the Indians have an off day on May 16, which was incorrect.
when the May 13 lineup was unveiled, Michael's name was not in it. on the contrary, he did get some pregame work in, throwing with a trainer in left field. that can be seen in Hayden Grove's video on twitter.
Tito communicated with the media about Michael's condition before the day's game, and Grove once again produced a short video on twitter. "he's doing better. he came in yesterday, did some work with the training staff. he came in today again, worked. he's gonna get examined by the doctors in a little bit today. that'll determine where we go with that. it could be as quickly as maybe even hitting today, or tomorrow. or, if we need to be more patient and let him continue to get some treatment, we'll do that, too."
a tweet from T.J. Zuppe revealed Francona explicitly stated that any talk of Michael going on the DL was premature.
in Jordan Bastian's article on indians.com, Francona remarked, "we will certainly do whatever the medical staff tells us we should do. he's doing pretty good. i think we just want to make sure he can continue to play when he does and not have to have setbacks. that's not fair to him."
the morning of May 14, Terry Pluto wrote in his Terry's Talkin' article on cleveland.com that it was clear something was wrong with Michael's right shoulder due to the fact that he only had two extra base hits (doubles) in his 39 at bats to that point. he may be a left-handed hitter, but his right arm is the one that powers his swing. Pluto also disclosed that Michael had been pushing very hard, taking extra batting practice because he wanted to perfect his swing, and the Indians maintained his shoulder soreness was nothing more than just that--soreness.
also in the morning, Michael participated in the Play Ball Clinic at Progressive Field, so he couldn't have been feeling too bad. photos of the event can be found on the TribeVibe blog, courtesy of Dan Mendlik, here.
then in the early afternoon, the Indians announced that Michael had been placed on the 15-Day DL, retroactive to May 10, with right shoulder inflammation. Bastian tweeted that the MRI Michael had on Friday [May 13] didn't show anything alarming in Michael's shoulder, while Paul Hoynes tweeted that Michael will visit with Dr. Morgan, the surgeon who performed his surgery, on Tuesday [May 17] in Wilmington, Delaware. i wrote a separate blog with many more details and quotes about this devastating breaking news here.
DL Updates (May 16-30)
Michael played catch at Progressive Field on May 16 per a blurb in Zack Meisel's cleveland.com article. Terry Francona testified, "he's doing everything [but hitting]."
in the afternoon on May 17, Jordan Bastian tweeted Tito declared there was nothing to report yet on Michael's checkup with the doctor, but that he heard it was "encouraging."
then during the Indians game that evening, around 6:30 pm, Bastian tweeted this update from the Indians (which came across to me as anything but encouraging): Dr. Morgan confirmed his diagnosis as a subacromial impingement. Michael underwent an anti-inflammatory injection and will continue with a rehab program. no return to play time frame has been established.
Hayden Grove noted in a tweet of his own that no surgery will be required.
Bastian later expounded in his article on indians.com that it's an impingement in the rotator cuff of Michael's right shoulder. "we need to look at the big picture and take care of him," Francona emphasized. "i think he understood, and i think this makes sense."
in the midst of the Tribe's May 18 game, Bastian provided a lot of information about the immediate plan for Michael in his indians.com article, including that he will likely be shut down for 5-7 days before potentially resuming hitting activities. "there's no timetable listed, because there isn't one," Francona divulged. "it's completely on how he feels. between Michael and the trainers and myself, we'll get together and we'll walk through this thing.
"there was nothing that was found that was irregular. we'll let that shot work and then, from there, we're just going to get him back in a way that we feel like we [can] keep him back. ...i don't want to say we're going to be not aggressive, because i think we will, but i think we certainly want to make sure that, when he comes back, we give him a chance to stay back."
Tito refused to entertain the notion that Michael came back too soon. "no, no. i just think that sometimes things don't work the way you want them to. i really don't [think he came back too early]. i think that, good players, they try hard. he felt pretty good."
i also heard from WTAM 1100 radio announcer Tom Hamilton during the game that the Indians are not going to rush Michael back and he'll probably be out for 2-3 weeks.
the next update about Michael didn't come until May 23, when the Indians twitter account shared that Michael's feeling good and will start swinging a bat tomorrow. Ryan Lewis also tweeted that he will resume hitting activities tomorrow and be looked at again when the Indians come home from their road trip [after May 25].
"he'll do that for a couple days and when we get home, we'll get our guys [to look at him] and let the medical people see him and start that progression," informed Francona via Lewis' article on ohio.com. "but it seems like all is well."
in addition, after the Indians' doubleheader was over, Paul Hoynes wrote in his cleveland.com article that Michael had joined the team in Chicago today. he further mentioned that Michael might be ready when his 15 days on the DL are up [May 25], or he might not come back for a few more weeks.
in the middle of the game on May 24, Jim Rosenhaus gave an update on Michael to radio listeners, saying he started some "light swinging" today.
on May 27, Tito gathered with reporters in the afternoon and delivered the latest news on Michael. T.J. Zuppe tweeted that he was progressing to dry swings today and would possibly hit off a tee, depending on how he feels. Grove tweeted that the Indians are trying to let the shot work, and Bastian tweeted there's still no timetable for his return to games.
soon after the barrage of tweets went live, Grove posted an article on scout.com with more from the skipper. "we've really been pretty not aggressive with this. we wanted to let this anti-inflammatory shot really do its work, and now we'll start to ramp him up. we've been a little bit cautious the first nine or 10 days into it. just like we've said all along, we want him to get better, and stay better. hopefully when he swings, he'll bounce back and we can start to build him up and get him going."
also, during the night's Indians game when Rosey gave the Elk & Elk injury report, he broadcast that Michael was happy the guys are home now. he told Rosey, "it's no fun when the team goes on the road and you can't be a part of it."
in Terry Pluto's early morning Terry's Talkin' cleveland.com article on May 28, he wrote that the Indians hope to have Michael back in a few weeks.
a short time later, Hoynsie's Hey, Hoynsie article was posted on cleveland.com and the first question he addressed was if Michael will be back by the All Star break. Hoynsie revealed doctors have told the Indians that the shoulder is the hardest joint to rehab because of the many small interdependent muscles involved. so when Michael returns, they're going to have to monitor not only his playing time, but the time he hits in the cages and the hitting he does with his father. the Indians have to proceed with caution so they don't make the situation worse, but it's unlikely Michael will be fully healed until next season.
sometime after noon, Michael decisively put himself in front of the media firing squad and fielded a ton of questions. Zuppe uploaded an almost six minute video on his youtube channel, which i used to transcribe the Q&A session.
what has he been doing this week swinging-wise and activity-wise? "all baseball activities," Michael stated. "swinging-wise, i hit off a tee, took some dry swings. all went well."
does he feel like he's bouncing back better than he was a couple weeks ago? "i do. i feel good. it's a process that i gotta kind of play through again, but all's going well so far."
what happened that set him back? "i just wasn't bouncing back quick enough to keep playing back-to-back games, which is very important i think. i want to be healthy each and every day and i gotta play at a high level. and this is the Major League so i, gotta be at the best of your ability and highest health-wise as you can be."
is he swinging every other day or what's the program at the moment? "more just kind of, i test out when i get here, see how i'm responding to certain activities and making the adjustment from there."
what did he do after the anti-inflammatory shot, just shut it down for a week or so? "yeah rested, but i also did shoulder work and rehab, and stability work, and just other exercises. anything that was gonna help get me back on the field faster."
was he worried going into that meeting with the doctor? "i was not worried. no."
when he is cleared and gets back, does he think it will take time to get his timing back or does he think that will not be an issue? "i think it's gonna take a little bit of time. this is one of the hardest games in the world to play so, you need a little bit of an adjustment period. but hopefully i can make that change and make that adjustment real quick."
can he tell a difference between before and after the shot? "absolutely. it's something i needed. we discussed it with the medical staff and the doctors and all went well."
will he anticipate possibly needing another shot? "i hope not," Michael answered incredulously. "i don't like to hear that, i hope not. no, i don't anticipate that at all. let's hope that doesn't happen."
what's the difference between this time around and the first go-round in terms of the rehab? "we're learning. we're learning what stuff makes it better, we're learning what stuff my shoulder doesn't like, and we're learning what strengthening exercises that are really helping me right now. it's a process. we have a great medical staff that listens to what i'm saying and we're feeding off one another and we're making great strides."
is not having been through something like this before part of the mystery of how long it will take to come back? "any time you have a surgery, there's no set in stone of how long or whatnot. so how everybody responds, everybody responds differently and surgery's nothing to play with. you gotta be smart and understand your body."
there's nothing he could have done differently, right? "not in my opinion. i worked very hard this offseason, spring training, and during the season to get back with my team."
does he have any timetable in his head? "i do not." is this again part of the learning? "yeah. how i feel when i come in."
is this a matter of, more just the workload than soreness? "it's both. the workload can cause soreness or it can't. so we gotta see what exercises i can do and what strengthening exercises and all the stuff that i need to do to make sure i maintain a healthy shoulder."
does he think he came back too fast? "i do not," he expressed with certainty.
did he feel any internal pressure to get back from the organization? "absolutely not. i was ready. we talked about it, we had a great process, a great calendar laid out. everything went smoothly. it was just a bump in the road."
can he do everything except hit now? "i do it all every day. every day." does he know when he might be able to hit in a cage? "still yet to be determined. i don't know exactly which day yet."
is he assuming he'll have to do minor league stuff again? "we haven't talked about that yet. i don't want to assume anything. we gotta see how it all kinda lays out."
is there a frustration level? "any time that you're not with the team, and this is where you want to be, to help contribute and just be around the players. it's like a family around here. you miss your family when they're gone. you're trying your best to get back with them."
even though he's here, does he still feel a little bit separated from his "family" because he can't play? "of course. there's a great group of guys in this locker room that play real hard and take pride in what we do around here."
what did the doctor say when he went to see him? "he said everything checks out good, you're gonna be okay. just make sure we do these certain exercises, take your time and we'll see what happens from there."
when was the last time he saw him? "i don't know." then a reporter chimed in and suggested May 17. "there you go," Michael smiled. but he hasn't seen him since? "no."
the surgery didn't correct the impingement, that was for the torn labrum, right? but the impingement is just there? "it can happen after shoulder surgery. yeah." there's never been a discussion to go in and clean that out? "zero."
after all that from Michael, Bastian then featured some thoughts from Francona in his article on indians.com. "we'll certainly be a little more conservative. we didn't put a timetable because there isn't one. it's how he feels... when things happen, i always go back and think, 'OK, what could we have done different?' because you don't like to either make mistakes or have things happen. even when maybe, like Brant said, [you] wouldn't do anything different, you still go back and try to think it through.
"our communication has been pretty good. i mean, beyond pretty good. there's a lot of trust between [us]. we trust Michael so much. sometimes things happen and you wish they didn't. sometimes, things just happen and guys get hurt. i thought our communication was pretty good on this and continues to be."
on May 30, Bastian included an excerpt on Michael in his afternoon article on indians.com. it publicized that he continues to work through a hitting progression currently comprised of non-contact swinging and light hitting off a tee. "we're trying to build him back up and do it in a way where he builds up and doesn't go the other way," Francona explained.
here's a photo of Michael in the dugout during the night's game:
|photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer|
Team Batting Title Competition
i know last month i said i should be able to compare Michael's May average with everyone else, but i cannot. once again, Michael did not play an adequate amount of time to be considered a qualifying player for this month. therefore, i can't compare his batting average with the rest of his teammates, which is unfortunate because in the few games he did play in, he hit well (.318 BA). we shall see how much playing time he's allotted in June, and maybe i can finally do some comparisons then. no promises though.
for documentation purposes, please note that Francisco Lindor had the highest May batting average (.316) out of all the qualifiers on the team.
Home Runs, RBI, LOB, K Rate, and Outs
for the second consecutive month, Michael did not hit any home runs. it's not very surprising, yet it is somewhat dissatisfying. the sad reality is that as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery and build up his strength again, his power is probably going to remain absent for a while.
in better news, Michael did generate a total of six RBI in May. if he hadn't suffered the inflammation setback and was able to play more games, who knows how many more ribbies Michael could have obtained. he looked on pace to have a potential career month. in regards to LOB, Michael stranded six men overall in May.
Michael's K rate in May was 8.3% (2 K/24 PA). i know he didn't acquire many plate appearances, but that's still about the normal rate we see from Michael even when he plays a full month.
in May, i personally documented 8 groundouts, 1 flyout, 3 lineouts, and 1 pop out for Michael. it's not a shock that he had more groundouts than any other type of out now that we know he was playing with soreness, particularly in his final game of the month. Michael tends to ground out in the majority of his outs ordinarily anyway, so i guess this fit the bill.
Michael had a hit in 4 of the 6 games he played in May and reached base safely in 5 games. he had 2 hitless games, but still reached base in 1. Michael had 1 multi-hit game, 1 three+ hit game, and 1 multi-RBI game. he had at least one RBI in 4 games. in addition, he had 2 go-ahead hits and 2 go-ahead RBI this month. the Indians were 5-1 in games that Michael played in and 11-12 in the games he sat out/missed.
for the month of May, Michael bat .316 (6-for-19) against right-handed pitchers and .333 (1-for-3) against left-handed pitchers.
Michael bat .389 (7-for-18) with 6 RBI in 5 of 16 games at Progressive Field and .000 (0-for-4) in 1 of 13 games on the road. he hit safely in 4 of the 5 home games he played in and safely reached base in all 5 of them. he was hitless in 1 home game, but still reached base in it. he did not hit safely in the 1 road game he played in; he went hitless and did not safely reach base.
Michael hit .625 (5-for-8) with runners in scoring position, producing 6 RBI in May. more specifically, he hit 1.000 (1-for-1) with RISP and 0 outs, .600 (3-for-5) with RISP and 1 out, and .500 (1-for-2) with RISP and 2 outs.
with 2 outs in an inning, Michael bat .200 (1-for-5). he had 1 double, 1 RBI, and 2 strikeouts (1 looking, 1 swinging).
additionally, he bat .556 (5-for-9) with 6 RBI with runners on base and .154 (2-for-13) with the bases empty. he did not come to bat at all with the bases loaded in May.
finally, Michael had a 0.2 fWAR (wins above replacement), a 109 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus--the ability to create runs compared to the league average), and a 0.1 BsR (baserunning runs above average with stolen bases and caught stealings) in the month of May. his numbers do not rank among American League left fielders because Michael did not play a sufficient number of games in order to qualify. [these stats are courtesy of fangraphs.com.]
Versus AL Central Division Teams
vs. the Detroit Tigers, Michael bat .500 (6-for-12) in 3 games in May. he had 5 singles and 1 double, as well as 5 RBI, 2 runs, and 7 total bases while leaving 2 men on base. in the field, Michael played 27 innings in left and recorded 5 putouts.
vs. the Kansas City Royals, Michael bat .167 (1-for-6) in 2 games in May. (he had 1 scheduled off day during the series.) his lone hit was a single, but he also had 1 RBI, 2 runs, 2 walks, and 1 total base. he grounded into 1 double play, had 2 strikeouts (1 looking, 1 swinging), and stranded 3 runners. defensively, Michael played 18 innings in left field, recording 3 putouts and acquiring 1 outfield assist. i imagine his stats against this team will improve as he plays them more throughout the remainder of the season.
when the Indians played the Minnesota Twins, Michael missed the first game of the 3-game series with right shoulder fatigue and had an MRI. then he missed the last 2 games because he was placed on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation.
when the Indians played the Chicago White Sox, Michael was still on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation/a subacromial impingement and had just begun some light swinging. he missed all 4 games in the May series.
Michael did not play any of the five scheduled games against National League opponents in May, and therefore did not register a batting average in Interleague Play this month.
when the Indians played the final game of their 3-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park (no designated hitter allowed) in May, Michael had a scheduled off day.
when the Indians played the Cincinnati Reds at both Progressive Field and Great American Ball Park (no designated hitter allowed in the latter), Michael was still on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation and a subacromial impingement, for which he received an anti-inflammatory shot. he missed all 4 games in the home-and-home set of series in May.
May Team Leads, Career Highs, & League Rankings and Still Not Being A Qualifier
Michael did not play enough this month for me to fill up this section of the blog.
in May, Michael was tied for the team lead among outfielders with 1 assist and led the left fielders with 1 assist.
he did not have any career highs for May.
furthermore, because Michael was only able to play a handful of games, he still could not be identified as a qualifying player for the month. (a player needs approximately 80 plate appearances in a month to qualify.) that means i cannot measure his May batting average or OBP/SLG/OPS against other players around the league.
after comparing Michael's other May numbers around the league, however, i surprisingly found that:
among left fielders in the American League, Michael ranked tied for 10th in RBI (6).
it's probable that Michael will need to be eased back into play again next month, so there's no guarantee he'll be a qualifier in June. stay tuned.
May Standout Games, Spotlights, and Quotes
Michael finally got his first RBI hit of the season in the game on May 3 versus the Detroit Tigers. it came in the bottom of the 3rd inning with the Indians leading, 3-0. Francisco Lindor was at 2nd base and there was 1 out when Michael stepped to the plate to face Justin Verlander. after an 0-1 count, Michael hit a ground ball single into center field, scoring Lindor. that also marked his first hit with a runner in scoring position after going 0-for-6 in 7 prior plate appearances, as well as his first hit with a runner on base after going 0-for-7 in 8 prior plate appearances.
the May 4 game versus the Tigers denoted the first time Michael did not come to bat in the 1st inning, as Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis, and Lindor all could not get on base in their ABs. i alluded to this in my April blog as a possibility for Michael now going forward. it may seem insignificant, but in regards to accumulating plate appearances, it would be more beneficial for Michael to get an opportunity to hit in the 1st inning in as many games as he can. (he only ended up with 3 PA on the night, btw.)
let me switch gears now to something of more importance. Michael had a chance to do some damage in the bottom of the 4th inning with Santana at 2nd base, Lindor at 1st, and 1 out in the scoreless game. Anibal Sanchez was on the mound for the Tigers and on an 0-1 count, Michael hit a ground ball single to right field. Santana scored, Lindor went to 3rd, and Michael obtained his first go-ahead hit and first go-ahead RBI of 2016! he later advanced to 3rd base after Mike Napoli doubled, then scored on a wild pitch during Yan Gomes' at bat.
after the game, Michael did an interview with Andre Knott, in-game reporter for SportsTime Ohio, in the locker room. i'm only transcribing the most pertinent parts; the full video can be found on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel here.
Knott asked how big it was for him to get a hit, get an RBI, and then see all those guys add on afterward. "hitting's contagious," Michael responded. "we got a couple guys on. i was able to get a hit, then Nap got a hit, then Gomer got a hit. we're kinda just passing the torch. a lot of good swings right there. we put 'em back-to-back together and that's what we gotta do."
is he getting back to his stride? "hope so. feeling better every day. the more reps i can get, the more plate appearances, the better it's gonna get."
starting his third game in a row for the first time this year, Michael had an extraordinary night, comprised of four hits and an awe-inspiring catch, versus the Tigers on May 5. he kicked it off in the bottom of the 1st inning with Kipnis at 2nd base, Lindor at 1st, 1 out, and no score. Michael Fulmer was behind in the count, 1-0, when Michael swung at his next pitch--a 94 mph fastball on the inside edge, according to DMan's Report by Dennis Manoloff on cleveland.com--and hit a ground ball single into right field. Kipnis scored, Lindor moved up to 3rd base, and Michael had a go-ahead hit and RBI for the second straight day. that single also signified the first time Michael got a hit in his first at bat of a game. he later came around to score on Napoli's (3-run) home run.
in his next trip to the plate, Michael led off the bottom of the 3rd inning with the Indians still up, 4-0. after a 1-2 count, he connected with Fulmer's 87 mph slider over the plate per DMan, and hit himself another ground ball single, this time to center field. that gave Michael his first multi-hit game of the 2016 campaign!
Michael's third hit took place with 1 out and the Indians ahead, 5-3, in the bottom of the 5th inning. he hit a line drive single to left-center field after a full count, good for his first three-hit game of the season. Matt Underwood--the play-by-play man for SportsTime Ohio--commented (via DMan) ahead of Michael's hit, "getting Michael Brantley down, 0-2, is one thing. putting him away is a whole different story."
in all honesty, Michael should have already gotten on base with a walk before his hit because the first two pitches were outside yet misidentified as called strikes. DMan has the details of Fulmer's offerings. pitch #1: 94 mph fastball (which appeared to be outside), called strike. pitch #2: 87 mph slider (appeared outside), called strike. pitch #3: 94 mph fastball outside, ball. pitch #4: 94 mph fastball high, ball. pitch #5: 87 mph slider outside, ball. pitch #6: 95 mph fastball on the outer third, single.
(FYI--Michael's second and third hits can be seen in this video from indians.com at 0:17 and 0:27, respectively.)
for his next act, Michael made a magnificent catch in the top of the 6th inning. however, i'm going to save the specifics of that for the In The Field section of the blog below.
but Michael wouldn't stop there. in his last AB of the night, he was done with the singles. it began with the bases loaded, 1 out, and the Tribe on top, 7-3, in the bottom of the 8th inning. the diamond consisted of Chris Gimenez at 3rd base, Rajai Davis at 2nd, and Kipnis at 1st. left-hander Blaine Hardy commenced with an 83 mph slider for a called strike before throwing a 77 mph curveball in the dirt and a 75 mph curve inside, as written by DMan. with the count at 2-1, Michael then fouled the next three pitches, which included an 87 mph fastball, 84 mph slider, and 88 mph fastball. Hardy's 7th pitch to Michael was an 87 mph fastball high that resulted in a wild pitch. Gimenez ran down the 3rd baseline and tried to score, but was thrown out at home plate. in the meantime, Davis advanced to 3rd base and Kip went to 2nd.
finally, on the 8th pitch of a 3-2 count, Michael made contact with an 83 mph slider on the inner edge at the thighs and hit a line drive that bounced just fair on the right field line in the corner. both Davis and Kip scored and Michael had himself a 2 out, 2-run double. that clinched his first multi-RBI game of the season and it represented his first four-hit game of the year as well!
|fair ball! photo courtesy of @IAMRINI on twitter|
at the conclusion of the game, Michael's line read like this: 4-for-5, three singles, one double, three RBI, one run, and one fantastic putout in left field. this tremendous performance raised Michael's batting average 109 points from the previous day. besides that, Jordan Bastian tweeted that Michael had seen a total of 23 pitches, took nine swings, and had zero swings-and-misses.
i think it's also definitely worth mentioning how not even two weeks earlier, Michael faced Fulmer during his minor league rehab assignment with the Columbus Clippers on April 22. in that game, Michael went 0-for-3 against him with a groundout, strikeout, and lineout. it's possible that seeing what Fulmer had in his arsenal that day gave Michael an advantage and helped him go a perfect 3-for-3 against him with three singles, an RBI, and a run on this night.
now let me get to the interviews, and yes, i have a lot of quotes coming. first, Knott spoke with Michael on the field after the game. (i will link the full video from the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel here.) when Knott inquired about how difficult it's been to come back and get his swing to where he wants it, Michael admitted, "it'd been a little bit difficult, but you know i kinda expected that coming back in. i didn't expect to come back here and just go firing off on all cylinders. i mean, these are big league pitchers. it's gonna take a little bit of time and hopefully we're back on the right track."
which of his hits was the biggest one for him? and, after hitting to all parts of the park, does that make him feel like he's getting to a comfortable spot? "it does. using the whole field, that's very important. but uh, they're all big hits. any time you get a hit off a big league pitcher is special and it's helping the team out."
how much has Mike Napoli helped behind him and the pitches that he's seeing right now? "yeah, he's a great hitter. getting good pitches, good quality pitches to hit. it's fun. we're having a good time in the locker room right now. we're playing team baseball which is very important and we gotta keep it up."
Ryan Lewis incorporated more postgame reflections from Michael in his blog on ohio.com "of course it's going to take some time. i wasn't expecting to come in and play guns blazing or anything like that. they're Major League pitchers. they're good. there are going to be some adjustment periods that you're going to have to go through when you don't get the normal reps that i normally do in spring. you can't duplicate Major League pitching down in the minor leagues, but you can duplicate reps. it's going to take a little bit of time, but we're stepping in the right direction."
when asked what he's had to work on with his swing to get it back to normal, Michael replied, "just a lot of timing and stuff and making sure i get to see quality pitches and not chase balls up and out of the zone. everybody throws hard in this league. everybody has a good out pitch in this league. it's very important to slow the game down mentally, as i like to say, so you can see better pitches and make sure you swing at quality strikes."
and how did it feel to have a four-hit game? "it felt great," he professed in Hayden Grove's article on scout.com. "(it's about) having the confidence that it's going to come around. everything will be all right."
Ben Fontana (covering the team in place of T.J. Zuppe) provided some additional quotes from manager Terry Francona in his article on cleveland.cbslocal.com. "he works hard and he's such a pro about it. but now he's getting some at bats under his belt and it's so important to us and what we're doing. he just, in every at bat tonight, seemed like it had something to do with us winning the game. whether it was chipping in, giving us an early lead, or extending it late."
"when he's himself, that's why he hits .300, because he uses the entire field," Tito affirmed via Lewis' blog on ohio.com. "even when guys make pitches, he still has the ability, like, you saw the one. he hit the two-strike pitch to left field and then, you try to come in, and he can pull it down the line. that looked a lot like him tonight."
Michael's teammate and Indians starting pitcher, Trevor Bauer, always believed his bat would ultimately come around, according to an article by Chris Assenheimer on chronicle.northcoastnow.com. "there was no doubt that he was going to get there. no one in here ever questioned that. early in the season, when you start off and you're in a little bit of a funk, your numbers look much worse than when you go through a couple days or week funk in the middle of the season and you have a lot of numbers to balance it out. no one in here was worried about it and it helps our lineup a ton when he does swing how he does."
reliever Jeff Manship concurred. from Bastian's blog on bastian.mlblogs.com, he proclaimed, "it's uplifting for us especially when he's swinging like he can. everybody knows he's going to get back to it. i think today was the day for him, it seemed, where he got his groove. now, we'll see what he does. he should be good from here on out."
on May 6, Michael drew his first (unintentional) walk of the year when he shockingly played in his fourth game in a row. the Indians were playing the Kansas City Royals at home, and in the bottom of the 1st inning, Kipnis was at 2nd base and Lindor was at 1st. with no score and 1 out, Yordano Ventura threw four straight balls to Michael. it might have seemed like an intentional walk, but it really wasn't.
later, in the bottom of the 6th inning, Michael hit into his first GIDP this season. Brian Flynn was pitching for the Royals with 1 out, Lindor at 1st base, and the Tribe up, 7-0. after an 0-2 count, Michael hit a ball back up the middle to Flynn, who threw it to shortstop Alcides Escobar, forcing Lindor out at 2nd. Escobar's relay throw to 1st baseman Eric Hosmer then got Michael to end the inning. not gonna lie, it was a little disappointing that Michael couldn't come through with a hit in this at bat, and because of that, his streak of three consecutive games with an RBI came to an end.
unfortunately, on May 14, something else came to an end for Michael--his month of May. the Indians announced he had right shoulder inflammation and placed him back on the 15-Day DL for the second time in 2016. more information can be found in my blog post here.
on May 28, Bastian surprised me with a tweet about which three Indians led the team in OPS (minimum 200 at bats) since August 1, 2015: Lindor - .876, Michael - .857, and Ramirez - .798. i gotta say, considering Michael's barely played in 2016 and had a poor September 2015, that's impressive.
In Indians History
when Michael finished his night on May 5 with four hits in the game versus the Detroit Tigers, he secured his eighth consecutive season of recording at least one four-hit game. from Chris Assenheimer's article on chronicle.northcoastnow.com, Michael then became the fourth player in Indians history to accomplish this. the three other former Tribesmen he joined are Rick Manning (eight straight seasons from 1975-1982), Kenny Lofton (nine straight from 1992-2001), and Omar Vizquel (nine straight from 1996-2004). in addition, coming into 2016, Michael was one of just 10 MLB players with at least one four-hit game in seven straight seasons.
In The Field
Michael played left field exclusively in May and, in six total games out there, yielded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. he had 8 putouts this month, including two remarkable catches, and recorded 1 outfield assist.
Michael made an impressive running catch in the game versus the Detroit Tigers on May 4. it was his only putout of the game and it came in the top of the 9th inning with 1 out. the Indians were up, 4-0, and Corey Kluber was still on the mound trying for a complete game shutout. on the 7th pitch of a full count, former Indian Victor Martinez hit a line drive to deep left field. Michael ran back while tracking the ball in the air, and then made the knee-high catch on the warning track for the 2nd out of the inning. after the game, Andre Knott, Indians in-game SportsTime Ohio reporter, asked Michael what happened that made him have to catch the ball down by his knees. "lot of side spin on it," Michael said with a smile. "lotta side spin. he didn't backspin it too well, he hit it on the side. i had to go run it down."
his other phenomenal catch on May 5 versus the Tigers was web gem-worthy. the Indians led, 5-3, in the top of the 6th inning when Nick Castellanos came to the plate with 2 outs and Justin Upton at 2nd base. after a 1-1 count, Castellanos hit a line drive to deep left field off Jeff Manship, who had just been summoned to relieve Indians starter, Trevor Bauer. Michael raced towards the track, stretched his arm out, and caught the ball to end the top half of the inning. afterwards, however, he kinda had no other choice but to fall forward and dive/sprawl out onto the warning track. while it technically wasn't a diving catch, i felt like if his surgically repaired shoulder could handle that impact, then he was gonna be okay.
btw, if you want to hear this play called by WTAM 1100's radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton, which i highly recommend everyone do, then click here.
truth be told, Michael almost had what would have been his first outfield assist immediately preceding this catch. with 2 outs, Upton hit a line drive off the left field wall that Michael fielded quickly and threw in to 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis. his throw was on the money, but sadly Kip could not hang onto the ball to tag out Upton. thus, the inning continued with Castellanos' at bat. if Michael hadn't made that catch, Castellanos would have had at least a double and the Tribe's lead would have shrunk to merely one run.
Jordan Bastian reported in his Covering the Bases postgame blog on bastian.mlblogs.com that the ball Castellanos hit was projected by Statcast to land 64 feet to Michael's right. even with a 92% route efficiency and topping out at a speed of 17.4 mph, Michael was still three feet away from the projection. amazingly he made up for it and lucked out by making a reaching grab to record the out.
when asked for his impressions on the play, Michael recounted, "i knew the situation we were in, and we needed an out right there. it was a difficult play, but he top-spun it, which gave me the only chance i had of making that play. if he back spins that ball at all, it's going to hit off the wall and i won't get there. he top-spun it, and i was able to get a pretty good jump on it and get there." (i pulled these quotes mainly from Ben Fontana's cleveland.cbslocal.com article, but also Bastian's article on indians.com.)
"the defensive play was huge," Terry Francona asserted. "at the time we had a two run lead. they're going to score and have a runner on 2nd, so that was huge. it was a big play."
Michael's teammates echoed the skipper's sentiments. "that's a huge part of the game," Bauer said in Bastian's blog. "if that falls, it's 5-4, guy on 2nd and they've got momentum. and who knows how it goes from there. but Brantley makes that play and we come out and we added some insurance runs later on."
"i honestly thought it was a home run right when he hit it," Jeff Manship attested in Ryan Lewis' post on ohio.com. "i don't know if you can go back and watch the tape, i pretty much put my head down right away. i hung a slider right there."
regarding Michael and his catch, Manship exclaimed, "it was unbelievable. played great all game, offense and defense. it's definitely a treat having him out there."
Michael also made it known via an article on cleveland.com by Paul Hoynes that when the time comes, he'll dive without question. Tito doesn't think it will be a problem either, pointing out that "he's dove back into 1st base" already this year.
lastly, i can't forget to illustrate how in only his 10th game of 2016, Michael acquired his first outfield assist this year. it came on Mother's Day, May 8, in the game versus the Kansas City Royals. there was no score in the top of the 1st inning with Lorenzo Cain batting against Josh Tomlin. after a 3-1 count, Cain smacked a line drive that Hammy said hit four to five feet up the left field wall. as Cain tried stretching his single into a double, Michael played it perfectly. he stayed back on the ball and waited for it to bounce into his backhanded glove. then he fired the ball in to 2nd baseman Kipnis, who easily applied the tag on Cain for the 2nd out of the inning. it isn't shown in the video, but Hammy depicted how after Cain got up, he pointed his helmet out to Michael in left field as if to say, "nice job throwing me out."
No Center Field For You
i would be remiss if i didn't take a minute to address this issue. when Tyler Naquin was sent down to Columbus on May 7 to make room on the Indians' 25-man roster for Cody Anderson, Rajai Davis was anointed the main center fielder. so who would be the backup(s)? not Michael Brantley. no, Terry Francona felt more comfortable with him staying in left field. instead, the new CF reserves would be Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez per Paul Hoynes' article on cleveland.com. and other media outlets were reporting that without Naquin, the Indians were left with no true center fielder on the team. say what?
first and foremost, i could not believe Tito would prefer using Chiz and/or Ramirez in center over Michael. Michael is more of a "true" center fielder than those two guys. he's played quite a bit of center field in his career in both the minors and majors, and he's pretty good at it. let's not forget how he was originally supposed to be the Indians' CF of the future until they practically forced him to move over to left for the likes of Grady Sizemore, Johnny Damon, Drew Stubbs, Michael Bourn, etc. so to say there's no true CF when Michael is still here is insulting.
Chisenhall made his debut start in center field on May 8 in the game versus the Kansas City Royals. all i could think was, can Chiz even handle being the captain of the outfield? i worried there might be some miscommunication due to lack of playing next to each other and that a mishap could occur and Michael would possibly end up with an error that should have been avoided. thankfully, my fear never came to fruition. then, as i continued to stew over this whole ordeal, Michael went ahead and acquired his first outfield assist of the season by throwing a runner out from left field. classic lol
also during the game, i heard Tom Hamilton mention on WTAM 1100 that there's a lot more ground to cover in center and the Indians don't want Michael playing there anymore. he implied that center field was going to be too hard for Michael to control all the sudden, which was literally the complete opposite of what Brad Mills, Indians bench coach/outfield instructor, recently conveyed about playing center. via Zack Meisel on cleveland.com, Millsy indicated, "a lot of things in center field are a lot easier because you're not having the ball breaking hard to your right or breaking hard to your left, if you're on one of the corners."
the way Hammy was talking, he truly made it sound like Michael would never see time in center field with the Indians ever again. i mean, i can understand simply wanting Michael to get back to routinely playing post-surgery, and re-familiarizing himself with left field again before allowing him to play in center. but to pretty much declare he won't ever play center, not even in the future...that i have a problem with.
how is center field a more dangerous position than left? so there's more ground to cover. big deal. Michael can still run. he had shoulder surgery, not knee surgery. running was never the issue. and it's not as though he's THAT old. i don't get why he wouldn't be a viable option to play center if needed one time a week or in an emergency once we're further on into the season and Michael's back to playing on the regular. who knows, maybe in the summer we will see him in center on occasion. a lot could change in that time. until then, my advice to Hammy is NEVER SAY NEVER!
now let's break down the numbers. i am going to document his May #s and the 4th spot #s, as well as the left field #s, the 4th spot + left field #s, and overall outfield #s.
May batting average: .318
Michael played in 6 (of 29) complete games in May.
he started and played left in 6 complete games.
he had 2 scheduled days off.
he missed 3 games because of right shoulder fatigue.
he missed 18 games while he was on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation/a subacromial impingement.
Michael bat 4th in 6 games.
Michael played left field in 6 games. (all complete)
Michael played in 6 complete games.
in May, Michael had a total of 24 plate appearances and 22 at bats. here is how he fared:
1 extra base hit
2 strikeouts (1 looking, 1 swinging)
1 first at bat hit
8 total bases
6 left on base
53 innings, 6 games
(6 complete games)
May batting average: .318 (7-22) (6 games)
now let's break down his numbers based on where he hit in the lineup.
when Michael bat 4th in May, he had a total of 24 plate appearances and 22 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:
1 extra base hit
2 strikeouts (1 looking, 1 swinging)
8 total bases
6 left on base
53 innings, 6 games
(6 complete games)
May batting average in the 4th spot: .318 (7-22) (6 games)
May batting average in the 4th spot while playing left: .318 (7-22) (6 games)
when Michael played the outfield in May, he had a total of 24 plate appearances and 22 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:
1 extra base hit
2 strikeouts (1 looking, 1 swinging)
1 first at bat hit
8 total bases
6 left on base
53 innings, 6 games
(6 complete games)
May batting average while playing the outfield: .318 (7-22) (6 games)
now let's break down his numbers specific to where he played in the outfield.
when Michael played left in May, he had a total of 24 plate appearances and 22 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:
1 extra base hit
2 strikeouts (1 looking, 1 swinging)
1 first at bat hit
8 total bases
6 left on base
53 innings, 6 games
(6 complete games)
May batting average while playing left: .318 (7-22) (6 games)
May #s while playing left: 8 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (53 innings, 6 games)
May #s while playing the outfield: 8 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (53 innings, 6 games)
now here are my game-by-game numbers and notes.
Game /22, May 1: scheduled off day.
Game 6 of 23/Game 1 of 2, May 3: 1-4, RBI single. AVG: .143
Game 7 of 24/Game 2 of 3, May 4: 1-3, RBI single, run. AVG: .167
Game 8 of 25/Game 3 of 4, May 5: 4-5, RBI single (first at bat), run, single, single, 2-run double. AVG: .276
Game 9 of 26/Game 4 of 5, May 6: 0-2, walk (first plate appearance), walk, run. AVG: .258
Game /27, May 7: scheduled off day.
Game 10 of 28/Game 5 of 7, May 8: 1-4, RBI single, run. AVG: .257
Game 11 of 29/Game 6 of 8, May 9: 0-4. AVG: .231
Game /30, May 10: will get today and tomorrow off to rest, shoulder is not bouncing back in ideal fashion.
Game /31, May 11: planned rest day.
Game /32, May 13: still not in starting lineup.
Game /33, May 14: placed on 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation.
Game /34, May 15: still on DL.
Game /35, May 16: still on DL.
Game /36, May 17: still on DL.
Game /37, May 18: still on DL.
Game /38, May 19: still on DL.
Game /39, May 20: still on DL.
Game /40, May 21: still on DL.
Game /41, May 22: still on DL.
Game /42, May 23 (Game 1): still on DL.
Game /43, May 23 (Game 2): still on DL.
Game /44, May 24: still on DL.
Game /45, May 25: still on DL.
Game /46, May 27: still on DL.
Game /47, May 28: still on DL.
Game /48, May 29: still on DL.
Game /49, May 30: still on DL.
Game /50, May 31: still on DL.
so far in 2016, Michael has 43 plate appearances and 39 at bats in 11 games (89.1 innings). in total, he has 9 hits, 2 extra base hits, 7 singles, 2 doubles, 7 RBI, 1 sac fly, 5 runs, 3 walks, 1 intentional walk, 1 stolen base (3rd), 1 GIDP, 6 strikeouts (3 swinging, 3 looking), 1 first at bat hit, 11 total bases, 14 left on base, 18 putouts, and 1 assist.
2016 season batting average: .231 (9-39)
for more about Michael's overall season so far, you can refer to my Brantley's 2016 #s Through May blog.
be sure you're following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 for daily updates and other information about Michael! and if you'd like to receive email alerts whenever i post a new blog, you can sign up for my email subscription list over on the right side of this blog!