|photo cropped off indians.com|
via Paul Hoynes' article on cleveland.com, the Indians believe Michael should have
a normal spring training in Goodyear, Arizona come February 2017. "that's part of the reason we wanted to try to do it now and give him a chance, when he comes back, to be ready," Terry Francona expressed. "he's going to need a good spring training. he's had 39 at bats this year. so if he's not behind in spring training that would be really big. i think there's a real chance that will happen.
"we talked Monday [August 15]. he's had a lot on his plate for a guy who hasn't played. he's pretty tired out. he's given a lot to try and come back, and he's going to have to do that again. the good news is, if anybody's willing, he's the guy. he's about as conscientious as anybody you're going to find."
James Quinlan, the Indians' head athletic trainer, explained in Jordan Bastian's indians.com article that the procedure involved cutting the biceps tendon and anchoring it to a different part of the shoulder. he also noted that Michael might be able to partake in some baseball activities by November or December, putting him on track for playing in Cactus League games with the Tribe. "we have to see how he responds to that early crank-up. but yeah, that would be the goal."
Tito additionally shared that even with the Indians playing well in Michael's absence, the team still misses and cares about the All Star left fielder. "they care so much about him that it is a blow. it's been one. again, i'm not even talking about on the field. we're finding ways to get it done. that doesn't mean we don't miss him or don't care. we have no other alternative. but, i bet pretty much everyone to a man, they all really care about him."
this is now the third time Michael's right shoulder has been operated on. aside from the November 9, 2015 surgery Michael had to repair his torn labrum, he had a similar but undisclosed right shoulder surgery in 2005 at the end of his rookie league season while in the Milwaukee Brewers' system. (source: Hoynsie's cleveland.com article.) i'd be remiss if i said that all that surgery on one shoulder didn't make me a bit nervous. with any luck, this will be the last one he needs.
|Michael's injury timeline courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter|
despite his best efforts, 2016 was a lost season for Michael. he played a total of 22 games this year--11 between his two separate minor league rehab assignments, and 11 with the Cleveland Indians. not to mention he played three games in spring training, one of which occurred on a back field with the minor leaguers, but i'm not gonna recap those.
starting with his rehab games, Michael spent time with four minor league teams including the short-season Single A Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Single A Lake County Captains, the Double A Akron RubberDucks, and the Triple A Columbus Clippers. combining all that play, Michael totaled a .242 batting average. he went 8-for-33 with three doubles, two RBI, three runs, four walks, and two strikeouts (swinging) while playing two complete games out of 11 overall. defensively, he played 74 innings in left field and recorded 12 putouts and one outfield assist. (i will be going into more depth regarding his final 2016 rehab stats in a future blog post that should go up soon, so keep checking back for that!)
and though he didn't contribute largely to the Indians and only put together a .231 batting average with them, Michael did help somewhat. he went 9-for-39 with two doubles, seven RBI, five runs, three walks, one stolen base, and six strikeouts (three swinging and three looking) while playing 10 complete games out of 11 overall. defensively, he played 89.1 innings in left field and recorded 18 putouts and one outfield assist. his outfield play was never in question; it was always just the number of repetitive swings he took during batting practice and in games and how he felt afterwards. try as he might, his shoulder was clearly not ready for the baseball grind this year.
so this is pretty much deja vu of November 9, 2015 all over again, as he's back to square one in the recovery process. and it comes with all the same worries, concerns, and questions about Michael that i had back then as well. if he's not permitted to do all of his usual offseason preparations (like last year), how will that affect the upcoming season? and, god forbid, what if his shoulder continues to give him more problems as he builds up his hitting program and/or after playing in a few consecutive games in spring? the risks are always there. however, as much as i wish his shoulder issues would already have been done and over with, it sounds like they're confident that this procedure is going to work and that Michael can return from it as good as new.
let me approximate a timeline and plan for him now post-surgery. if Michael takes a full four months to heal up, then that would allow him to start swinging a bat in mid-December. (PLEASE, don't let him start swinging in November!!! lol) and at that point, he wouldn't be too behind in his typical offseason preparation regime. be that as it may, it's possible that he'll need to scale it back a tad. for example, he might not be ready to work out 5-6 days a week for 3 hours a day right away this winter. and he may not be able to swing at full force in his batting cage at home either. still, i think he'll get more work in coming into spring training this year compared to last offseason. and, barring any setbacks, he should get to take part in a full spring training. so hopefully the timing of this procedure won't affect his timing and productivity at the plate during the 2017 season very much, if at all.
Michael's been through more than enough, so here are my final pleas to the powers that be:
please let this surgery take care of the problem(s) and be the end of Michael's shoulder woes,
please don't let anything recur when Michael starts prepping to get back on the field and in the batter's box next year, and please let Michael have a normal 2017 baseball season.
for all the details spanning from Michael's shoulder surgery on November 9, 2015 up to this one, please refer to these update 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
Brantley's April 2016 #s
Brantley Placed on 15-Day DL with Right Shoulder Inflammation
Brantley's May 2016 #s + DL Updates
Brantley's June 2016 w/ DL Updates
Brantley Transferred to 60-Day DL
Brantley's First Half 2016 #s w/ DL Updates
Brantley's July 2016 w/ Rehab Game Details
Brantley To Have Season-Ending Right Shoulder Surgery
i don't know how much information we'll be getting about Michael as he recovers for the rest of baseball season, but i will tweet anything i find as i come across it. so you should definitely be following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 for that. and to receive email alerts when i post new blogs, you can sign up to be on my subscription list over on the right side of the blog.