Michael has had a rough time this year, to say the least. he began the regular season late because he was on the 15-Day DL, still recovering and rehabbing from his offseason right shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. he played seven games on a minor league rehab assignment before being activated on April 25. between his activation date and May 9, he appeared in 11 total Indians games over 15 days. it came to light on May 10 that he was feeling soreness and his shoulder was not bouncing back like they'd hoped. after a few days off, Michael was re-evaluated on May 13, but we didn't get any news until May 14. that's when it was announced that Michael was placed on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation and would be visiting with his surgeon, Dr. Craig Morgan, in Wilmington, Delaware on May 17 for a checkup.
that was your little season summation through May 14. next are all the Michael updates from this most recent stay on the DL.
technically his occupancy on the DL isn't over, but his rehab portion of it is, so it's time to get this blog published. i'm using the same precedent as before (when Michael was previously on the disabled list and rehabbed earlier this season) in that i've posted two separate blogs with information. this first blog contains Michael's daily health updates and rehab game details while he was on the DL from May 16 through August 16. Michael's rehab number breakdowns and game lines can be found in the second blog, which is linked at the end of this one.
NOTE: when i first started writing this blog, i intended to put all of Michael's rehab details in here and only here. but i had no idea back in May that Michael's 2nd DL stint of 2016 would span four months and culminate with a surgery. because Michael's stay on the DL continued to linger on as the months went by, i felt it was best to include all the monthly updates in their individual corresponding monthly blogs as i posted them. therefore, all the May updates seen here were also in my Brantley's May 2016 #s blog, all the June updates seen here were also in my Brantley's June 2016 blog, all the first half of July updates seen here were also in my Brantley's First Half 2016 #s blog, and all the rest of the July updates seen here were also in my Brantley's July 2016 blog.
regardless of that, i of course had to post every update in this blog as well since it's an all-inclusive DL stint/rehab post. for that reason, this is very long--probably the longest blog i've ever posted. (however, it will serve as a great reference if at any point in the future someone needs to check back on when a particular incident occurred.) so feel free to just skim through or skip any parts that you've already read. or, if you want to re-read certain sections, go for it. but if you've kept up with everything through July and want to go directly to the new stuff, scroll down to the August updates. and if you're a new reader, here ya go! these are ALL Michael's daily updates from May 16 - August 16.
DL Updates (May 16-30)
May 16: Michael played catch at Progressive Field per a blurb in Zack Meisel's cleveland.com article. said Terry Francona, "he's doing everything [but hitting]."
May 17: in the afternoon, Jordan Bastian tweeted Francona 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: 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."
May 18: in the midst of the Tribe's game, Bastian provided a lot of information about the immediate plan for Michael in an 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 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."
also while the game was in progress, radio announcer Tom Hamilton told WTAM 1100 listeners that the Indians are not going to rush Michael back and he'll probably be out 2-3 weeks.
May 23: the Indians twitter account unveiled 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," Francona shared 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.
May 24: everyone listening to the Tribe game on the radio got to hear Jim Rosenhaus give an update on Michael, saying he started some "light swinging" today.
May 27: Francona 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."
May 28: in Terry Pluto's early morning Terry's Talkin' cleveland.com article, 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.
May 30: in his afternoon article on indians.com, Bastian included an excerpt on Michael. 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 game:
|photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer|
DL Updates (June 1-30)
June 1: when President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti addressed the media after the announcement of Marlon Byrd's 162-game suspension, he additionally unveiled the latest on Michael. per Jordan Bastian's blog on bastian.mlblogs.com, Michael will hopefully get back in a few weeks. Antonetti explained, "Michael's continuing to progress with his hitting progression. he took more swings off the tee yesterday and felt it went well. hopefully, he continues to progress. but i think, as Tito said, we want him to not only come back healthy, but strong and ready to contribute for the balance of the season. so, this won't have any impact on Michael's timetable. we'll look at Michael being ready whenever he's ready to come back and contribute.
"i think we are all of the same mindset in making sure that we go through his rehab in a very thoughtful and judicious way to make sure that, when he comes back again, he's not only healthy, but strong and ready to contribute for the balance of the season."
June 2: Shane Jackson wrote in an article on indians.com that Michael hit off a tee again today. Terry Francona said via Bastian's tweet that Michael might be cleared to advance to soft toss on Friday [June 3] and stand in to track pitches in a simulated game for Joba Chamberlain on Saturday [June 4]. "he's doing good," remarked Francona in Paul Hoynes' cleveland.com article. "like we said the other day, we're just trying to treat it like an exercise, like putting gasoline in the tank."
June 3: during the Indians game, radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton declared on WTAM 1100 that Michael swung the bat again today. no word yet on if he actually did advance to soft toss or not.
June 4: Terry Pluto shared in his morning Terry's Talkin' article on cleveland.com that he heard Michael is still several weeks away from returning to action.
in the afternoon before the game, Hoynsie tweeted that Michael did not track pitches in Chamberlain's simulated game. then later in Hoynsie's evening cleveland.com article, he elaborated that Michael was supposed to track pitches (look but don't swing), but he was working with the trainers when Chamberlain pitched his game.
June 6: there were some rumors floating around about Michael today, which i only discovered once Bastian acknowledged them. after doing a little research, i found that the initial panic tweet came from Jeff Passan and his tweet read: Source: there is serious concern from Indians that Michael Brantley is going to miss a significant amount of time with his shoulder injury.
shortly after that "news" broke, Zack Meisel posted an article on cleveland.com that included how Michael could miss at least a few more weeks as he works his shoulder back into shape. the article also brought to light how even though Michael is not currently playing in games, he still contributes from the sideline. Matt Quatraro, Indians assistant hitting coach, testified that "whether he's watching the opposing pitcher or our own guys, he sees everything."
almost immediately following that, Ken Rosenthal tackled the Passan news in a series of his own tweets. first, he said that he asked Antonetti about Passan's claim. Antonetti responded, "nothing really new. we are focused on working with Michael to help him get to the point where he's not only healthy but strong enough to make a meaningful impact on the balance of our season. we don't have a clear timetable for that yet but are encouraged by the progress he continues to make." then Rosenthal pointed out that it wouldn't be in the Indians' best interest to admit they were concerned because it would compromise their trade leverage.
later at night before the Indians' game in Seattle, Francona conveyed his thoughts to the media about all of this. from a video on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel, Tito disclosed, "from our time when we left on our flight to come out here, unless something drastically happened, which it didn't, it's the exact same. we've been really forthright in saying that the timetable is on him getting better and absolutely there's been no setbacks. there's nothing, nothing's changed."
June 7: in light of the previous day's rumor, Hoynsie published an article on cleveland.com with additional news from Antonetti. it began by recognizing that Michael was not on the Indians' 10-game road trip, but could join them. for the time being, he'll remain in Cleveland continuing to do his rehab at Progressive Field.
"there's nothing new," Antonetti repeated. "we've tried to be transparent with it. we don't have a definitive timetable. we need to work off Michael and how he responds to activities. we'll continue to do that.
"he's made progress. he's taking flips in the cage. he's gone from dry swings to tee-work to flips. he's progressing, but what that means in terms of being ready at the Major League level, we just don't have a concrete idea yet. we have to respond to how Michael is feeling day to day. in spring training, we said we don't know exactly when he'd return. it wasn't us deliberately trying to be vague. that's the honest truth, we didn't know. it's the same thing here."
in regards to Passan's tweet, Antonetti stated point blank, "that's not our expectation." then he added, "but we don't have a crystal ball."
June 10: the Tribeinsider twitter account announced that Michael sat in on the draft in the afternoon at Progressive Field.
June 11: when Jim Rosenhaus gave the Elk & Elk injury report during the Indians west coast night game, he told WTAM 1100 listeners that Michael was still back in Cleveland doing some light hitting activities, and Antonetti again affirmed there's still no timetable for his return.
June 13: after six games out west concluded, Bastian was back to work and tweeted that Francona Michael is still in the soft-toss phase of his rehab.
Hoynsie had more from the skipper in his article on cleveland.com. "it will be nice to get our eyes on him when we get home. he's progressing just like he's supposed to and he feels really good about it. but it will be good to get home and see what he's ready to do."
sometime past 10 o'clock during the Tribe game, Hammy mentioned that Antonetti had been on the pregame manager's show, and confirmed once again that Michael had progressed to flip toss and might take batting practice on the Indians' upcoming homestand [starting June 17].
June 15: Antonetti again said Michael's still doing soft toss (hitting balls into a net) and there's no timetable on when he'll rejoin the Indians via Hoynsie's cleveland.com article.
June 17: Hayden Grove sent out a Michael update on twitter from Francona. "i was just visiting with him a little bit. he's continuing to plug away and just grind through it. he's still at the phase where he's soft tossing in the cage. the medical team is not yet ready to allow him to advance past that, so that's what he's been doing and he continues to bump up the intensity and the volume, but he's still at that stage. when he moves to hitting live, i'll certainly tell you guys."
Grove's article on scout.com included that Michael is adamant that his shoulder is in no further pain and the team is just taking things slow. Francona agreed with Michael in that the training staff is intentionally taking its time and putting Michael's long-term health ahead of any short-term impact he could have on the team.
"we're trying to almost use this as an exercise," Tito proclaimed. "you want to continue to move forward, not backwards, and i think they're trying to be careful, probably somewhat because of what happened last time too, that he doesn't aggravate it and go the other way."
an article on indians.com by Jackson provided more from the manager and Michael also. "i'm disappointed for him. he did everything in his power to be accountable because he's so good at that--understanding his importance to our team and everything, but it happens to every team."
"i've got to stay confident," Michael contended. "you've got to trust in what you're doing, trust in the training staff and the doctors. i want to come back to the field as soon as possible, but i want to stay as healthy as possible as well."
"i don't [know when i'll advance to batting practice]," he additionally confessed in Meisel's pregame article on cleveland.com. "it's a day by day basis still. it's a process. you have to stick with the process. you have to stick with the routine and the plan they have laid out. it's just making sure that the repetition that you do day in and day out, that you can recover from that."
June 21: T.J. Zuppe tweeted that Michael experienced some discomfort in his shoulder and was sent for an MRI on Monday [June 20], which came back structurally sound. Hoynsie tweeted Michael was in Dallas to get a second opinion from Dr. Keith Meister, received a cortisone shot, and was returning to Cleveland. the Indians twitter account referred to the issue as right biceps tendon tendinitis. a subsequent tweet from Zuppe offered that because the soreness originated from Michael's bicep, that was good news for his shoulder.
Ryan Lewis supplied further details in his article on ohio.com, writing that after Michael's workload was "ramped up" last week, he felt discomfort in his biceps and lower shoulder area.
he had a down day on Monday and flew to Dallas today to see Dr. Meister, who often works with the Rangers according to an article on indians.com by Jackson.
"even though he was doing front-toss flips, the intensity was getting ramped up, and he felt some discomfort," Francona divulged. "so we put our heads together and went and got another MRI. then we sent him to get a second opinion in Dallas. the examination went really well--structurally sound. his biceps, that's where his soreness is coming from. in the grand scheme of things, this is great news."
"what they are doing right now, i probably need to wait until it gets done and see what the next couple days are like," Tito continued in Zuppe's article on cleveland.cbslocal.com. "but i'm sure Brantley is thrilled. and if this is what it is, they can knock that out and he will get back on the path of coming back. so, of all things it could have been, this is great news.
"it's in the front of his shoulder. it's such a little joint, if you get a little bit of swelling, and that was part of the problem in detecting it. fortunately, they were able to figure that out which is good and [can] get him back going."
Hoynsie's article on cleveland.com also contained this from Antonetti: "we're still working through getting the full assessment, but Dr. Meister's evaluation is that the shoulder is strong, stable and in a good spot. he said there is irritation in the biceps tendon, not in the shoulder joint."
June 22: Hoynsie included a small section on Michael in his cleveland.com article notifying everyone that Michael was now back in Cleveland. "he received a cortisone shot and will be down for three days," Francona updated. "during that time, the medical people will put their heads together on what the protocol is and what the plan is. i'm hopeful this is really good news. we're never looking for the glass to be half empty, but for all the things it could have been this has a chance to be really positive."
June 24: Grove captured some of Francona's afternoon meeting with reporters on video and posted it on scout.com. "he's down for five days. they decided that he would have, actually it said four or five, but i think it's five. then when we get to that point, and then the trainers, when they give me a schedule for the foreseeable, the next couple days, i'll let you guys know. right now, it's just letting that anti-inflam shot work."
in an evening cleveland.com article, Hoynsie wrote a blurb noting that the Indians medical staff is still formulating a rehab plan for Michael following his cortisone shot.
Rosey also vouched for the five day shut down in the Novacare Rehabilitation injury report during the Indians game.
June 25: someone asked Hoynsie "when is Michael going to be back?" in the latest Hey, Hoynsie article on cleveland.com. he answered with "i don't want to be Debbie Downer, but i don't see Michael Brantley being an option for the Tribe until late July or August, if at all."
June 27: James Quinlan, head athletic trainer for the Indians, said Michael's shutdown period was over and that he resumed light hitting activities, as relayed by Rosey in his Novacare Rehabilitation injury report in the middle of the Tribe game.
June 28: from Tito via Hoynsie's twitter, "he's had 2 days where he's hit off a tee. took 50 to 55 swings. by all counts, really did well." then Hoynsie finished his tweet off with the most positive thing we've heard all month: timetable might be coming.
"he's doing good," Francona went on in an excerpt from Hoynsie's evening cleveland.com article. "we'll let him continue on this path until we get home. then maybe we can set up a calendar. we're going to completely go off of him. i think if he continues this path, he'll be doing really well."
Pat James (an Atlanta reporter covering the Tribe) had some other information from the skipper in his article on indians.com. "when you're down this long, you've got to remember that and let them build back up because even without injury, he can't just jump in and make it all up in one week or it's not going to work." James further specified that Tito indicated the team could establish a timetable for Michael's return based on how he feels, but they'd rather play it safe.
at night, the Novacare Rehabilitation injury report provided by Rosey in the 5th inning of the Indians game informed us that Quinlan said Michael feels good so far and there are no after effects from being down for almost a week.
June 30: per Bastian's pregame tweet, Michael's back to doing soft-toss and is progressing well according to Francona. when asked if he expects Michael to impact Cleveland in the 2nd half, Tito exclaimed, "heck yeah."
later, Bastian posted an article on indians.com featuring Indians GM Mike Chernoff's thoughts about trading for an outfielder. "the highest-impact 'acquisition' we could make is getting Michael Brantley back on the field and healthy. and, i think we're optimistic based on how that progression has started."
"i'm so much more relieved," Francona conceded in regards to Michael's condition. "when a guy has surgery, and you feel some discomfort, you start to think 'oh no.' and when we got to the bottom of it--i don't doubt that it hurt--but in the grand scheme of things, it's something that can get knocked out. he's worked so hard, that i think he'll [come back] fast."
DL Updates (July 1-10)
July 1: during the radio broadcast of the Indians game, Jim Rosenhaus told WTAM 1100 listeners that Michael advanced to overhand batting practice today with good intensity and he had a good response. Rosey reported that news from the Indians medical staff in his Novacare Rehabilitation injury report.
July 2: the Indians are cautiously hopeful about Michael returning in the next few weeks according to Terry Pluto's morning Terry's Talkin' article on cleveland.com. they believe they'll have a much better idea about his comeback from shoulder surgery during the All Star break (July 11-14).
then in the middle of the afternoon game, Rosey's Novacare Rehabilitation injury report revealed that Indians assistant GM Derek Falvey was on their road trip and remarked things are looking very promising for Michael. he's taking full batting practice on the field now and they're very encouraged by what they have seen in the last couple of days. Michael's come through the batting practice activities in good shape.
July 3: a morning press release posted on indians.com indicated Michael was transferred from the 15-Day DL to the 60-Day DL today to make room for Abraham Almonte--who was just reinstated from the restricted list--on the 40-man roster. it was only a paper move and does not change anything per Jordan Bastian's tweet. Michael's placement on the DL is still retroactive to May 9, and Bastian's indians.com article divulged he's now eligible for activation on July 9, though he's still a ways away from returning. i wrote a blog all about it here.
now this is where some confusion sets in. Bastian later tweeted that Michael is on target to advance to BP this week, and that he still needs to go through BP and a rehab assignment before he's activated. in Bastian's article on indians.com, Terry Francona commented, "he's doing very well. there's no hidden flags there" regarding Michael's move to the 60-Day DL. furthermore, Tito conveyed there's no firm timetable for his return.
on the contrary, during the Tribe game, Rosey repeated the same news from yesterday in his Novacare Rehabilitation injury report--that Falvey said Michael has been taking batting practice on the field.
July 4: an afternoon tweet from Bastian had Francona proclaiming that Michael will go through a normal pregame program, including batting practice, on Tuesday [July 5].
"we finally got our eyes on him today which is nice," Tito declared in a twitter video taken by Hayden Grove. "he's really excited. so tomorrow... he's got a little bit of a down day today. not 'down' but a little bit less, and tomorrow he's gonna go through a normal day--BP and everything. he's genuinely excited about where he's at. so i'm kinda looking forward to seeing this cause i think for a while there he was like cautiously optimistic, which i get, but i think right now he feels pretty good. this is, just the look on his face, it's good to see him feel like that." Francona also confirmed this was the most optimistic he's been "by far."
later, the Indians twitter account posted a photo of Michael signing autographs for fans during batting practice:
|photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter|
at night, in an article on cleveland.com, Zack Meisel quoted Michael as saying he feels "like a million bucks."
July 5: both Bastian and T.J. Zuppe took video from the press box of Michael taking batting practice on the field and posted them on twitter.
Bastian also tweeted a picture of Michael with his father, Mickey, who will be in town for "as long as it takes."
|photo courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter|
Mickey watched all of Michael's BP session from the railing of the Indians dugout, carefully studying his swing as Bastian's afternoon article on indians.com pointed out. he wasn't the only one watching though. some of Michael's teammates, trainers, and front office members were present as well. Michael hit line drives all over the field, including one over the right field wall.
"see that one?" Mickey asked. "look at that finish. he's feeling good. he's feeling strong." that was evidenced by Michael's follow-through, which looked back to normal and not cut off.
Michael, on the other hand, was unfazed. from Zuppe's cleveland.cbslocal.com article, he claimed, "it's BP. it's not real. i was more worried about contact, hitting good line drives. if the ball goes out, it goes out."
"i definitely sense [more optimism] with him," Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti asserted. "it was encouraging to get that directly from Michael, but yeah, i clearly sense from talking to him that he feels really good. he's feeling strong and--some of the things we've talked about--not only feeling healthy, but feeling strong and unrestricted. Michael's starting to feel that now and he's excited about where he is in the process."
Bastian and Zuppe also tweeted how Antonetti said he was very encouraged by Michael's BP session and that he felt genuine excitement about his progress. "it's a sign that he's continuing to make progress in his return."
"i was able to take BP pain free, able to swing the bat like i normally do," Michael expressed via Zuppe's twitter. "it's a great feeling."
Bastian's article had more from Dr. Smooth. "i feel normal. for the last week or so, i've been swinging the bat great in the cage. i've been itching to get back out here, but with the same swing i'm taking in the cage every day, transition that out to the field and BP outside. that's all we're doing different. it's very exciting how i feel right now.
"it's nice to have clarity. i still couldn't get over that final hump and you didn't know why. we finally figured it out, i believe. i feel great."
the Indians will monitor how Michael bounces back over the next few days before creating a possible schedule (for a rehab assignment).
"i'm very excited where i'm at," Michael went on in Zuppe's article. "i wake up every day with a smile on my face because i know i get to go to work and do what i love. and i get to do it unrestricted right now. it's awesome."
as for his plan during the All Star break, Michael stated, "i had a long enough break. i'm not going anywhere. hopefully i'll be working somewhere, maybe getting games in, maybe not. but whatever i'm in at the time, i know i'll be getting some work done. no break for me. i had enough break."
with Michael making progress and the trade deadline now in less than a month, Antonetti was once again asked if he intends on looking for help through a trade. per Bastian's tweet, he replied, "there's no question that, if Michael's healthy, there is no bigger acquisition that we could make than getting a healthy Michael Brantley back. that goes without saying. but, what we'll continue to do is assess things and where they are week to week, day to day, as we get closer to the deadline. and, as Michael continues to make progress and provides us more information about how he's feeling and when he potentially could come back, we'll weigh that against what opportunities we may have to improve the team."
as expected, after Michael finished taking BP, there was a media circle around his locker. here is the Q&A i transcribed from Grove's video on scout.com.
how'd it go for him out there in batting practice? "it went very well."
what does he think the main difference between this time and last time is thus far? "i just know i'm stronger. i did a lot of rehab, a lot of strengthening exercises, and i know how i'm bouncing back every day, i know how my body feels. i'm in a great position, i feel great, i'm very excited to come back and help this team in a positive way."
does he think the biceps tendinitis was the thing that was causing the discomfort? "well i'm not a doctor, but that's what the doctor said and obviously with the injection that i received, all went really well. and again, i'm feeling great. i'm very excited. BP went great today. i couldn't be more happier than playing around in BP today."
when did he realize that his biceps... was it hurting this whole time or how did that develop? "i just couldn't get over the hump. i just knew there was something that was not... hindering me but i wasn't 100% yet. and i was real close and i just needed maybe a little bit of a boost to get over that hump and i got it. i'm 100% healthy right now, i bounce back great every day, and every day i get to come in and you know, almost be unrestricted baseball activities, so everything's doing real positive."
does he know what the next couple steps are involved? "i'm gonna keep hitting BP, getting ready to go on a rehab assignment somewhere and play some games."
what was it like watching the 14-game winning streak and just the way the team's been playing? is it bittersweet just cause he's not part of it? "nope, not at all," Michael shook his head smiling. "this is a team unit. i'm very excited every game they win and when they lose, i'm just as upset as they are and i didn't even play. but for them to put on that winning streak, take your hat off to them. it's not easy to do. this is a hard game to play and they did a phenomenal job and they're continuing to do a phenomenal job."
can he take BP again tomorrow or does he have to back off a little bit or where does that go? "i'm down tomorrow and then i'll be taking BP consistently after that, and then we'll go into games some time after that as long as all goes well."
when he went for the second opinion, the Indians seemed concerned that there might be a need for more surgery. did he feel the same way? "i did not. i know my body, i knew that there was something small, something that i maybe needed to get a little boost to help out but i didn't think that i'd require another surgery. i was getting back strong, and like i said before i just needed a little extra boost to get me over that hump and i believe i got it."
so he won't need another shot? "i hope not. i'm 'bout tired of those," Michael quipped. "no, but no. as i feel right now, i'm great. everything's going phenomenal. i'm very excited how i feel now and then i plan to wake up feeling great again tomorrow."
Tito said yesterday that he's kind of night and day this time and the last time the way that he views Michael in his confidence in his shoulder and everything. is that the right way to describe it? "i agree 100%. it's a different feeling. it's an exciting feeling as well as waking up normal every day, not having to stretch or not feeling fatigued the next day at all. it feels great to be almost back."
furthermore, Paul Hoynes' article on cleveland.com included a video of Francona meeting with reporters. "i think Brant's really encouraged about where he's at. it's a nice step for him to get on the field, hitting everything. i think the good part is, and i think that's what i was trying to tell you guys this past week, once they diagnosed what was going on, he'd been working so hard with that shoulder, that he's pretty strong. so i think that was probably the best news we could have ever received when he got the diagnosis, got the shot, cleared it up, and now he can go about his business and return to action. and we'll see how long that takes. we need to still use good judgment cause he's been down a long time.
"...make sure he recovers, cause that's always been the biggest thing is his recovery. you're ramping up intensity and volume so you want to give him a chance to... and it's not just a down day, it just means he's not getting on the field."
July 6: towards the end of the Indians afternoon game, radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton started talking about Michael's day yesterday in the batting cage. then he disclosed that Francona doesn't feel Michael needs to be out on a rehab assignment for a long time because he's got such a simple swing and he's maintained his mechanics very well.
July 7: Bastian tweeted that Michael took BP on the field again and Francona verified he'll take BP again on Friday [July 8] (back-to-back days), but Tito's not ready to announce minor league rehab timing yet. "i don't think we've thought about announcing anything yet," Tito admitted in Zuppe's article on cleveland.cbslocal.com. "i think let's let him work a little bit longer here and we'll figure something out."
to see some of Michael's BP session, you can check out this video that was uploaded to indians.com, with in-game reporter Andre Knott discussing Michael's potential rehab with SportsTime Ohio announcers Matt Underwood and Rick Manning during the game.
July 8: Michael took BP again--as evidenced in Grove's video--for the second day in a row and third time in four days. (a longer, albeit farther away video can be found on the cleveland.com youtube channel.) Bastian tweeted Michael's been feeling/recovering well and is scheduled to take BP again on Saturday [July 9] according to Francona, but there's still no word yet on minor league rehab. although, earlier Bastian did speculate that because he's been taking so much BP lately, a rehab assignment can't be too far off.
Meisel informed everyone in an article on cleveland.com that Michael's BP session was a popular event. an audience comprised of Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, senior director of medical services Lonnie Soloff, head athletic trainer James Quinlan, his father Mickey Brantley, and teammates Francisco Lindor, Austin Adams, Mike Napoli, and Yan Gomes all watched Michael hit in the cage. Francona also clarified Michael will hit in some capacity on Saturday, but it might not be on the field.
an article by Zuppe on cleveland.cbslocal.com provided more information about the upcoming plan for Michael. "he did really well today," Tito exclaimed. "he'll probably hit again tomorrow. i don't know if he'll do it on the field or not. that might depend on what we do. but from talking to him, talking to the trainers, it went really well. he's doing good."
Zuppe also noted Michael's rehab assignment could come as soon as next week but Francona's not forcing the issue. "when he's ready to go do that, (the trainers) will let me know. me asking them isn't going to make it go any quicker, nor do i want to put him in that position. i know he's trying to get ready as quick as he can. i don't want to make him feel like (we're rushing him). that's not going to do any good."
July 9: Grove tweeted Michael was hitting BP on the field for the third straight day and that he plans to spend the All Star break in Cleveland getting ready. a little while later, Grove posted video of Michael in the cage on twitter at the same time that Bastian tweeted that the team will sit down with him Sunday [July 10] to formulate a plan for the break. lastly, Chris Assenheimer wrote in his article on chronicle.northcoastnow.com that Michael is expected to work out during the break and could begin a minor league rehab assignment to start the second half.
"obviously he's doing well," Francona publicized in Grove's article on scout.com. "we'll probably sit down probably tomorrow morning and talk a little bit about what to do over the break because it probably won't be much of a break for him. we'll kind of get more tomorrow. we'll probably have a little bit of an idea when i visit with you guys tomorrow what we're going to do next." Grove additionally surmised that if all goes well, Michael should be back before the beginning of August.
prior to Michael's BP session, Jason Kipnis recorded a video of Carlos Santana horsing around with Michael in the clubhouse and put it on his instagram. apparently Santana found some boxing gloves and, from what we can see, he decided to punch the lineup board while Michael tried to hold him back. then the board fell down, much like Michael's pants almost did lol Yan Gomes walked by in the beginning, probably thinking they were crazy. just don't hurt Michael's shoulder, Los!
July 10: when Tito met with the media in the morning, a blueprint for Michael's rehab had finally emerged. Bastian tweeted he will begin his rehab with Mahoning Valley on Monday [July 11] and play 5 innings, then he'll play with Lake County on Wednesday [July 13], and if all goes well, he'll play with Akron by the weekend.
Grove added in a tweet of his own that it appears as though, if all goes well, Michael will be back with the Indians before August. and later, in his article on scout.com, Grove shared that the hope is Michael will be able to play in back-to-back games over the weekend with the RubberDucks.
"it gets kind of exciting that he's starting to play games," Francona professed in Bastian's article on indians.com. "i know sometimes you try to say things in a P.C. way--i get it. but we are excited. ...he's so strong right now that i think we kind of thought he'd feel better fast." be that as it may, there is still no firm timetable for his return.
DL Updates WITH Rehab Game Details (July 11-17)
July 11: at long last, Michael began his minor league rehab assignment. he started out with the Class A short season Mahoning Valley Scrappers and played in their game versus the Tri-City ValleyCats (Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros) at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio at 7:05 pm. he was batting 2nd, starting in left field, and wearing his usual number, 23, on his jersey. this marked the first time in his career that Michael ever played with the Scrappers because he did not come up in the Indians' organization. it was also the first game of any kind that Michael had played in since May 9!
just like before, i had the GameDay pulled up on my computer and i listened to CBS Sports Radio 1240's audio broadcast for free online at wbbw.com. therefore, i have all the particulars from Michael's time in the game.
in his first trip to the plate with 1 out and no score in the bottom of the 1st inning, Michael faced right-handed pitcher Dustin Hunt and took four straight balls to draw a walk.
|photo courtesy of @JdotBrady13 on twitter|
ItsAllTribe and Mike Melaragno posted short videos of his plate appearance on their twitter accounts. Michael was quickly erased at 2nd base, however, when he broke up a double play and allowed designated hitter Andrew Calica to reach 1st base on a fielder's choice.
Michael had a chance to really do some damage when he came to bat in the bottom of the 2nd inning with 2 outs, bases loaded, and the Scrappers leading, 1-0. catcher Michael Tinsley was at 3rd base, right fielder Silento Sayles was at 2nd, and center fielder Gabriel Mejia was at 1st. facing Hunt again, Michael flew out to center field after a 2-1 count to end the inning. former Indian Jason Stanford had joined Scrappers play-by-play radio announcer Tim Pozsgai for this game and they commented that once Michael gets his timing back, that flyout will be a home run. video of the AB was again provided by Melaragno as well as Grove, and Lori Babik took a great video of Michael on deck before his at bat.
also during the 2nd inning, Pozsgai shared with the radio listeners that Michael took BP early prior to the game and you can tell every pitch he's working on something. soon after, i saw that Robert Hayes tweeted Michael signed a few autographs before the game, too.
his third and final plate appearance of the night came in the bottom of the 4th inning with 1 out, Mejia at 1st base, and the Scrappers up, 2-0.
|photo courtesy of @cle_ItIsGone on twitter|
the ValleyCats had just made a pitching change because they wanted a lefty-lefty match-up, so Ryan Hartman was on in relief of Hunt. after a 1-2 count, Michael hit a ground ball to 2nd and up the middle into center field. that single gave him his first hit of the game and moved Mejia over to 2nd base. Melaragno, Grove, Jonathan Brady, and Tommy Vito all uploaded video of the AB to their twitter accounts.
once Michael completed the top of the 5th inning in left field, his night was over. defensively, he recorded one putout, which occurred in the top of the 1st inning when he easily caught a liner to left for the first out of the game.
Michael met with reporters after the game and a 5 minute video of that was included in an article on scout.com by Corey Crisan. i only transcribed the most pertinent parts that deal with his rehab, but if you want to hear his thoughts about the Scrappers' ballpark and the players themselves, then you can watch the video in its entirety.
how'd it feel out there? "it felt great," Michael began. "happy to be back out there playing baseball again. i'm 100% healthy. it's a matter of how i recover now. all went well today. like i said, it feels good to be out there playing baseball again."
any concrete timeline as far as his return? "no. i got more hurdles, more obstacles to come and i got more games to play so nothing's set in stone right now."
did he have a specific approach at the plate tonight or was it just more going through the motions? "i never want to go through the motions. the object is to get a hit, the goal is to get a hit or have a good at bat at least. but it's gonna take time. i know, i understand that. hitting's not very easy to do. it's a game of adjustments and i look forward to making them as i continue this rehab process."
how good was it to get that base hit off a left-hander? "it was just nice to see a left-handed pitcher. i'm gonna see a lot of 'em when i get back to the Major League level so the more i can see down here in rehab and just kind of get comfortable facing left-handers, the better off i'm gonna be and the better off it's gonna help the team win more ballgames."
with the success the club's had in the first half, how difficult has it been to have to miss all this time? "hasn't been difficult at all. i've been upset at having missed time, but they're playing great. it's fun to watch. i'm a fan just like you guys are, i root 'em on as hard as all the fans do as well. it'd be probably even tougher for me if they weren't doing... struggling, i'd probably be more upset. but they're doing great, they're playing great baseball, and it's fun to watch."
Lake County on Wednesday and then Akron over the weekend, is that correct? "that's about correct. lord willing i wake up in the morning and everything feels great. yeah, that's the goal."
and beyond that, he doesn't know yet? "and beyond that i don't know yet," Michael reaffirmed. "it's more of a day-by-day basis, how i'm feeling, and i'm gonna start playing some back-to-back games and just getting my baseball legs underneath me."
what's the most difficult part of the rehab process? "the most difficult part? everything. i mean, it's baseball. getting reads and jumps to seeing, tracking pitches, swinging at quality pitches, having quality at bats. this is a very difficult game to play so you just gotta get your legs back under you for the most part of this... baseball-specific activities.
"...i know i'm stronger. i think that's one of the most important things during this rehab process. i keyed on strengths, i keyed on my weaknesses that i needed to develop and i feel like i did a good job. the medical staff had a great game plan and a great program that i went through and all feels well right now. i'm very excited."
has anybody in particular helped him through this process emotionally or mentally? "everybody. my teammates, my upper management, staff, my own family. everybody's been very supportive. it's not easy not being able to do something that you love and enjoy being out there with the guys. this is the first time i've missed an extended period of time especially during the season, so it was difficult for the time being, but i'm just glad to be working my way back."
what kind of reinforcement has the front office given him throughout his whole rehab process? "that they're in my corner. they understand what i'm going through and that i just need to make sure that i'm being truthful and honest and positive and everything that's going on. that i'm not holding anything back and they just want me to be 100% healthy."
July 13: after a day off, Michael had his next rehab assignment scheduled with the Class A Lake County Captains in their game versus the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Class A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio at 7:00 pm. he was batting 2nd, starting in left field, and once again wearing his usual number, 23, on his Captains jersey. and just like with the Single A Scrappers, this was the first time in his career that he ever played with the Captains. although, he did play in Classic Park when he was in Single A with the West Virginia Power almost a decade ago lol so it was a somewhat familiar surrounding already. not to mention his Indians teammate, Roberto Perez, was rehabbing with him at Lake County and batting 3rd behind him in this game.
Melaragno was there covering Michael's rehab again and recorded some of his pregame media session, as did Ryan Cooper. in addition, the cleveland.com youtube channel had video of both Michael talking with reporters and taking BP. i transcribed the parts pertaining to his rehab only.
[does he feel] 100%? "i'm getting there. it's gonna take a little bit of time. that's what we have rehab games for and all's going well so far."
any concerns at all, any apprehension? are these rehab assignments for timing, for getting in game shape, stuff like that? "i just gotta feel 100% every day when i come to the field. how i wake up and just how i'm recovering every day is very important. and obviously getting my baseball legs underneath me, getting the routes down, good quality at bats, and go from there."
what's his timetable now? "i'm not quite sure, i take it day by day." two weeks? "i got nothing for ya, i take it day by day."
how'd it go at Mahoning Valley? "all went well. i woke up the next day feeling great. it was a good first day, i got a lot of work in. i got some balls in the outfield, ran the bases a couple times, so all went well."
defensively, that's not really a question is it? the injury didn't interfere with that? "correct."
does he feel like as soon as he can hit, he'll be back? that's the key, right? "it all depends on how well i'm hitting and obviously getting back into baseball shape. this is almost like a mini-spring training for me, so i gotta take full advantage of it and just get ready to come back and help my teammates."
is there some level of frustration, having to battle back, especially when everything seemed to be lining up so well after the first time? "no one ever wants to get hurt. you always want to be with your teammates. it's like a family, you miss 'em when they're gone. so i just look forward to getting back there as soon as i can."
these rehab games, does he feel like they're just baseball as always or is there something different in his approach or what he's looking to work on specifically? "i try to work on the same thing i'm gonna do on the big league level. there's no reason to change something down here because it's the minor leagues. i gotta get ready for big league pitching and i'm gonna take the same quality and hopefully consistent at bats that i'll take up there."
when will he know he's ready? "when will i know i'm ready? i can't tell you that answer." shrugging he offered, "when i have a few games under my belt, i know i'm recovering great every day, and i feel in baseball shape."
here's a photo of Michael taking batting practice in the afternoon before the game:
|photo courtesy of @Hoynsie on twitter|
additionally, Tony Zarrella uploaded a video of Michael taking BP on his twitter account.
also before the game, Melaragno posted a photo of Michael signing autographs for fans.
come gametime, i again had the GameDay pulled up on my computer. unfortunately, i could only listen to the beginning of the game on the Lake County Captains Baseball Network for free online at tunein.com because, for whatever reason, the audio died on me right before Michael's first AB in the bottom of the 1st inning. of course. i did, however, hear play-by-play radio broadcaster Andrew Luftglass say Michael was scheduled to play about 5 innings in the game.
when Michael had his first at bat, he came to the plate to a roaring ovation according to the postgame story on CaptainsBaseball.com. he faced right-handed pitcher Cody Stashak in the bottom of the 1st inning with 1 out and the Captains down, 1-0. after an 0-1 count, Michael hit a line drive double down the right field line.
|photo courtesy of @MikeMcGrath on twitter|
Melaragno posted the video on twitter.
Michael's second at bat of the game came in the bottom of the 3rd inning with 1 out, shortstop Willi Castro at 1st base, and the game tied at 1. after Stashak threw Michael ball 1, Castro was caught stealing 2nd base for the 2nd out of the inning. then, on the next pitch, Michael hit a line drive single that went over the head of the Kernels' 1st baseman (per the article on CaptainsBaseball.com) and down the right field line. Melaragno supplied that video. subsequently, Hoynsie tweeted that Michael passed another test when he slid hard into 2nd base on Perez's forceout to end the inning.
in the bottom of the 5th inning, Michael had his third and final AB of the night. Castro was at 1st base with 2 outs and the Captains behind, 6-2. after a full count, Michael fouled off Stashak's next 2 pitches before grounding out to 2nd base (on the 8th pitch) to end the inning. Melaragno delivered video once more.
defensively, Michael recorded just one putout in the five total innings he played in left field. it transpired in the top of the 1st inning when he caught a flyout in foul territory for out number 2.
i did not see any postgame interview online anywhere. but i guess Michael can now claim he played with every team in the Tribe's organization except the Lynchburg Hillcats.
July 14: the Akron RubberDucks twitter account confirmed Michael would be playing in their rehab game tomorrow [July 15].
Bastian tweeted Francona declared Michael's doing great and today was a really encouraging day with how he bounced back. he'll go to Akron Friday [July 15] and play in back-to-back games soon.
later Bastian's article on indians.com uncovered that Michael went through a workout today in Cleveland while the team headed to Minneapolis. "i think today was his best day because he felt really good and it was after playing," Tito avowed. "every time he makes a step forward, it's good. depending on how the next couple days go, he's probably going to have a back-to-back here pretty soon. i think some of it depends on maybe how much he swings. i think the trainers want to have a chance to talk to him [before making the schedule]. when he comes back, we want him to be prepared to play multiple days in a row. and he feels strongly about that, too. so, that means you've got to do that in the minor leagues first."
July 15: Michael's next rehab assignment took place with the Double A Akron RubberDucks in their game versus the Erie SeaWolves (Double A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio at 7:05 pm. if you recall, he played with Akron for the first time previously this year during his April minor league rehab. but, unlike then when he was wearing #13, he this time had his regular #23 on the special RubberDucks uniform. he bat 2nd and started in left field.
before the game, RubberDucks manager David Wallace conceded he didn't know if Michael would play with Akron tomorrow yet, and that it would depend on how he felt tomorrow.
as usual, i had the GameDay on my computer and also listened to the audio from FOX Sports 1350 for free online at tunein.com.
facing right-hander Artie Lewicki in his first at bat in the bottom of the 1st inning with 1 out and no score, Michael hit a ground ball to 1st base after a 1-1 count for the 2nd out of the inning.
Michael led off the bottom of the 3rd inning against Lewicki with the RubberDucks up, 1-0. after a 1-2 count, he flew out to center field for the 1st out of the inning.
his next at bat came in the bottom of the 5th inning with 1 out and the Ducks still on top, 1-0. Lewicki fell behind in the count, 1-0, but then Michael popped out to short for the 2nd out of the inning. as his AB began, RubberDucks radio broadcaster Jim Clark remarked he was scheduled to play 7 innings in the game.
in the bottom of the 7th inning, Michael got his fourth and final trip to the plate. he led it off with the RubberDucks leading, 2-0. facing righty pitcher Santiago Garrido, he grounded out to 2nd base after a 2-0 count and ended his night going 0-for-4 offensively. (to see short videos of Michael's last three at bats, check out Jeff Ellis' postgame article on scout.com.)
defensively, Michael played 7 innings and recorded three putouts. he caught a fly ball to left field for the 3rd out in the top of the 1st inning, a fly ball to left for the 1st out in the top of the 4th, and a line out to left for the 1st out in the top of the 5th.
once Michael's night was over, Clark unveiled that a trainer from the big league club always accompanies a player on his rehab assignment to assess how he's progressing, and that Michael will remain with the RubberDucks and either play tomorrow in a back-to-back or Sunday [July 17] depending on how he feels and what the trainer says.
after the game, Ellis tweeted Michael would play tomorrow as the DH for Akron.
video of some of Michael's postgame media session was later made available in Jake Dungan's scout.com article. here's the written Q&A.
how's he feeling after tonight? "good. another rehab game down. got to see some pitches, put some swings on some balls, so all went well."
the plan for him to come back tomorrow, is there any change in that? "nope. no change in that."
he'll be DHing tomorrow? "that's the plan, that i'll be DHing tomorrow, yes."
did he feel he tried to rush it too much when he came back earlier this season? "no, i don't think i rushed it at all. i just think it was a chain of events that happened that kinda pushed me back. i felt good going into it and i was in a positive mind-frame, my body felt well, and it just didn't work out."
is he feeling good out there? is it part of the process even though he didn't get a hit tonight? "it is part of the process, you're not gonna get a hit every night. hitting's hard. but i'm just getting my baseball legs back under me, track some more pitches. it's only my third game so hopefully it'll get a little bit better."
describe the rehab process a little bit. "it's long. it's tiring. it's a lot of repetitions. but at the same time you're doing it to get back with a great group of guys that are doing great at the big league level. you just want to go out there, get back with them as soon as possible and impact them in a positive way.
"...inside i can't wait to get back and just join 'em. but it's great for me to watch how successful they're doing and that they're playing good, quality baseball and winning a lot of games. so it's fun to watch. i'm a cheerleader right now but that's what i gotta do so hopefully i'll be joining them soon."
July 16: in the morning, Pluto's new Terry's Talkin' article on cleveland.com acknowledged that Michael's rehab assignment will "continue into next week."
before 4:30 pm, the Akron RubberDucks twitter account posted breaking news that Michael would not be playing in tonight's game and will instead be back in their lineup tomorrow.
Grove tweeted that last night Michael said he wanted to play today and this seemed to be precautionary. Hoynsie tweeted that Tito specified it was the trainer's call and this was NOT considered to be a setback.
later, Grove wrote in a scout.com article that Michael received treatment on his shoulder at Canal Park and a trainer deemed it beneficial for Michael to sit on Saturday. the article also contained a video of Wallace conversing with reporters, where he asserted Michael looked like himself last night and all signs point positive.
"he's feeling good," Francona proclaimed in Hoynsie's evening article on cleveland.com. "he wanted to play, but it was a decision by the trainer." and when the skipper was asked if Michael would play in consecutive games Sunday and Monday [July 18], he balked, "well, i don't know if we have a goal like that. i think the goal is if he shows up and feels good, he plays. then he and the medical people will continue to map out what's in his best interest."
July 17: Michael was back in uniform with the RubberDucks for the final game of their series versus the Erie SeaWolves at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio at 2:05 pm. he was batting 2nd, starting in left field, and wearing #23. it was speculated by the Akron RubberDucks twitter account that he would be playing 7 innings like he did in his previous game.
as always, i had the GameDay pulled up on my computer and listened to the audio from FOX Sports 1350 for free online at tunein.com.
Michael faced right-handed starter David Martinez in his first at bat with center fielder Bradley Zimmer at 2nd base, no outs, and no score in the bottom of the 1st inning. after a 1-1 count, he hit a ground ball to the shortstop. Zimmer was already running to 3rd base, so the SeaWolves opted to throw him out and Michael was able to reach 1st base on a fielder's choice. he never came around to score though because right fielder Clint Frazier hit into an inning-ending double play.
Michael led off the bottom of the 4th inning against Martinez with the RubberDucks down, 4-0, and after a 1-2 count, he hit another ground ball to short for the 1st out of the inning.
his next at bat came in the bottom of the 6th inning with 1 out, shortstop Ivan Castillo at 2nd base, Zimmer at 1st, and the Ducks losing, 8-0. after a 1-0 count, Michael hit a ground ball to 1st, except SeaWolves 1st baseman Corey Jones bobbled it, so Michael reached on a fielding error to load the bases. he later advanced to 3rd base after 1st baseman Nellie Rodriguez hit a 2-run single to right field, and then scored the first run of his rehab assignment on a 3-run home run to left field by DH Jeremy Lucas.
Michael could have gotten a fourth at bat in the bottom of the 7th, but he was replaced by pinch hitter, Jordan Smith. he played 7 innings in left field but didn't have any putouts or defensive chances.
in an excerpt from his article on indians.com, Bastian wrote Michael should be close to playing in consecutive games and it's possible that he moves his rehab to Triple A Columbus this week since they are at home and Akron is going on the road.
Dungan again provided a little video of Michael speaking to reporters after the game on scout.com. my transcription follows.
what did he feel yesterday that kept him from playing? "not too much. it wasn't my decision. my decision was i tell 'em how i feel every day and we go by them, like a day by day process." shrugging his shoulders he went on, "i felt okay and we just skipped a day."
today, did he feel alright taking the swings? "yeah, i felt okay. i'd like to get a couple more hits, that'd be nice, but just getting the repetition down is very important."
what has it been about the last week or so that has allowed him to be so excited? "just more of how i responded every day waking up. i think that's one of the biggest things, recovery time. that's one of the things i kept fighting with. and just having the opportunity to keep playing baseball every day and being able to play baseball every day is very important."
has he had any discomfort in his shoulder or biceps in the last couple days? "i've been doing great. i'm very excited where everything was going ahead and i just want to continue waking up in the morning feeling like i'm ready to go play baseball again."
what's the next step? "keep playing more games. we gotta figure out exactly what day, whether it be tomorrow or the next day, and seeing how i feel when i wake up every morning. it's important."
DL Updates (July 18-31)
July 18: when the Clippers lineup came out after 5 pm and Michael's name wasn't in it, i knew he wasn't playing today because the other three minor league teams were either on the road or had the day off. about an hour later in the early evening, Bastian tweeted Michael had an off day today and he'll meet with the trainers to discuss the next steps; no schedule in place until then.
after 10 pm during the Indians game, Tom Hamilton relayed to the WTAM 1100 radio listeners that Michael was "shut down" today and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. Hammy didn't think it was a good thing that Michael "only played one game in the last three days" and that you'd think he'd be playing back-to-backs by now. he finished up by assuming Michael wouldn't be back as quick as people originally hoped. it worried me because i remembered one time last year when reporters wrote one thing about Michael before a game, and Hammy conveyed something different during the game that was essentially "worse" news, and Hammy ended up being right.
July 19: turns out Hammy had the more accurate report yesterday because the Indians twitter account tweeted Michael will undergo a precautionary MRI tomorrow and that his rehab was on hold for now. soon after, Bastian tweeted an update from Francona, saying he's feeling discomfort again in his shoulder at the end of his swing. (well, i guess that explains why Michael didn't get that fourth at bat in his July 17 rehab game.)
Bastian posted an article on indians.com later on with additional details from Francona. "he swung in one of his at bats the other night and he felt his shoulder again. so, we kind of convened and the way he kind of phrased it to me was, he didn't seem terribly worried about it, he just feels like he's having a tough time pushing through the last little bit [of his swing]." then Tito divulged that Michael's been "unbelievably" honest throughout his comeback. "there' been a couple times where he's come up to me and apologized. his effort has been incredible. all the reasons we want him back, and the admiration we have for him, doesn't go away when his shoulder hurts."
"we're going off by how Michael is feeling," Antonetti explained. "Michael was really encouraged, as he was working through this progression. each step of the way, he was feeling healthy and strong. the other day, he just developed a little bit of soreness. we now need to hit the pause button and see what the next steps are."
as for shutting him down for the rest of the season, Antonetti wouldn't hear it. "we're not to that point, yet. we want to try to first understand what's going on. what's causing this to continue to happen? what's the root of the soreness he's experiencing now? and, how do we help him through that?"
at night, Hoynsie came out with his own article on cleveland.com and supplied supplemental information from the skipper. "he'll have an enhanced imaging (test) done Wednesday [July 21] morning. we feel an obligation to him to try and do everything correctly. the one thing that's hard about that is that you're looking at a shoulder that has been operated on twice. a lot of times they show wear and tear so it's difficult."
[to clarify: Michael had a similar right shoulder surgery at the end of his rookie league season in 2005, and spent time on the DL in 2006 during his time with the Single A West Virginia Power.]
"hopefully, we get an answer where it gives some peace of mind. it's better than not doing anything. it's easy to understand (the difficulty of finding the source of the pain) in a small joint like the shoulder unless you go in and look. i guarantee if you went into every pitcher's elbow or shoulder, they'd never pitch. you'll find something on everybody. so you go on symptoms...but he's hurting."
July 20: with the Tribe game being early--2:15 pm start time--i figured we wouldn't get an update on Michael before the game. and we didn't. however, not even an hour into the game, Hammy mentioned on the radio that the MRI Michael had this morning was the extensive one where they inject the dye in order to get a clearer picture. he stressed they want to make sure there's nothing else going on in there, and we should know more in the coming hours. nothing ever came. at night, Bastian replied to someone on twitter that he might have some news on Michael tomorrow, but Friday [July 22] for sure.
July 21: in the afternoon, Bastian posted a quick tweet maintaining he was not expecting Brantley news until tomorrow in Baltimore and that Michael had a doctor's visit today after undergoing scans on his shoulder.
July 22: just after the noon hour, an article by Hoynsie was published on cleveland.com with a blurb about Michael. it brought to light that he underwent two days of testing on his shoulder, having had another MRI on Thursday [July 21] before meeting with the Indians head physician, Dr. Mark Shickendantz.
that afternoon, Francona was a guest on Mike Trivisonno's WTAM 1100 radio show. (the audio clip can be found here.) right before 5 o'clock, the TheTrivShow twitter account tweeted the latest Michael news: he had a small procedure to clear out some scar tissue, but the shoulder looked good, and he'll get back at it in a few days. someone then inquired whether Michael would resume his rehab assignment or need to start over with batting practice, and TheTrivShow notified them that a trainer would meet with reporters later with more info to come.
shortly after that, the Indians' writers took control of the updates. Hoynsie tweeted Michael underwent an outpatient procedure to remove scar tissue from the biceps tendon and he will resume baseball activities next week.
Grove was the first one to tweet the official statement from the Indians, which read: Michael's imaging revealed no structural compromise to his right shoulder. today he underwent a diagnostic ultrasound and a short procedure (needle aponeurotomy) to break up scar tissue located in the front of his shoulder (outside of his shoulder joint) along the biceps tendon. Michael will rest this weekend and is scheduled to resume baseball activities early next week. while encouraged with this recent development, there remains no timetable for his return.
later, T.J. Zuppe suggested on twitter that they'll probably ramp Michael back up through a progression. moreover, Bastian issued a correction tweet disclosing Michael had a "hydrodissection" performed on him to break up the scar tissue.
a little bit before the Indians' 7:05 pm game, an article focusing on Michael was posted on indians.com with Ben Standig credited as the author. Dr. Jason Genin performed the hydrodissection, where a needle was used with local anesthetic to hopefully break up the scar tissue on the biceps area. Indians head athletic trainer James Quinlan indicated they're "trying to be cautiously optimistic about it. early next week, get back to swinging and see how it feels."
Francona's reaction resembled a sense of relief. "the fear is when you get tested that extensively, you'll find something on almost anybody. the fact that they really didn't is great news. now it's just going to be a matter of days before he starts again. i know he's frustrated. this last little [stretch] has been hard to get through, but we're hopeful he'll be back and raring to go pretty soon."
Hoynsie's cleveland.com article provided more, explicitly illustrating the timeline of Michael's tests and procedure. his enhanced MRI with the fluid injection occurred on July 20, while the diagnostic MRI and hydrodissection took place on July 21. the second MRI further established that Michael was still dealing with right biceps tendinitis.
besides that, the article included a video of Quinlan shedding some light on the situation. "it feels like that (probably) was a pain producer for him," Quinlan believed. "it felt significantly better after that. a couple of more days and he can get back into a swinging program. the procedure is not season ending. it's similar, if you've heard about acupuncture when you go in with a dry needle, but this is more specific because you use ultrasound. you target the area, break it up and get back out there within a couple of days. the enhanced MRI, where you put fluid into the shoulder joint, the doctors were encouraged by what they found with the labrum. it still looks good, there's nothing new there.
"the shoulder joint itself, it's a big deal with swinging the bat and they can be tricky. they can get strong, but you don't know how they will respond to game activity. it has been longer than we anticipated. he's managed his frustrations well by working hard, but shoulders are complicated and you don't know how they will respond once you get out there. it's swinging, the high intensity swing, and doing that repeatedly to get ready for game activity. that's where he kind of gets hung up. he feels discomfort and once you feel discomfort, that affects your swing."
July 23: per a tweet from Bastian, the Indians will convene with Michael on Monday [July 25]. the hope is he can return to high-intensity swings in the cage; he doesn't have to start from scratch. later in the evening before the Indians game, Bastian wrote in his indians.com article that Michael will convene with the medical staff on Monday OR Tuesday [July 26].
July 25: there was no official news from the Indians on their off day, though i can testify that i saw Michael's truck in the players parking lot around 2 pm when we were driving around the ballpark to go to the Indians Team Shop. i presumed he was there doing some type of rehab work.
July 26: Hoynsie tweeted in the afternoon that Michael would be talking to reporters at 4:05 pm.
here's a photo of the media madhouse in front of Michael's locker:
|photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter|
Grove was there and, as i've come to expect, he took video of the interview and posted it with his article on scout.com.
how is he feeling? "i'm doing well," Michael smiled wide.
how'd this latest procedure go and has he felt much relief from it? "the latest procedure went well. it was pretty quick and easy. i have felt relief from it and, you know, the last couple days, a couple good days of hitting the last two days and all went well so far."
it is tough to put a timetable on something like this? "it's very tough, especially when you have a couple setbacks and you think you have figured it out and you kind of get a little different twist, so i'm gonna continue to keep working hard and keep pushing to get back and taking the necessary steps that i need to take."
is he discouraged? if not, how does he keep from being discouraged? "it's frustrating. i mean, i want to be out there with these teammates and this coaching staff and contribute in a positive way. the guys are doing a great job, i just want to be a part of it. but at the same time, i gotta be healthy. i won't come back 50% or 75%. i owe it to these guys and this great organization to be healthy when i come back and contribute in a positive way."
has he been able to swing the bat faster coming back from this procedure than the cortisone shot? "i have. i've hit the last two days, all in the cage but off a pitching machine as well already, and just trying to ramp back up activities and see how it all feels and see how i recover each and every day."
what was his mindset going into the MRI and what was it when he finally got the results and what was gonna have to happen? "mindset's the same every day: get better each and every day. i mean, there's no, there's nothing i can control. i just want to know the results and how i can get better from it. i feel like we had a good looking MRI and everything looked well and i'm excited about that news."
any regret that he may have pushed things too hard at times? "no, i listened to my body. i felt good. i said the last time i was feeling great. some things come up, it's very frustrating at times but at the same time, you gotta take what the cards give you. it's a setback, yes, but it's only gonna make me stronger as a baseball player and stronger as a person and just being a better teammate from the dugout and looking in."
where is the pain? what is the last hurdle he's got to clear? "recovery. recovery's always my biggest key. playing back-to-back days, recovery, recovery, recovery. it's one of the most important things. obviously to play a grueling schedule like we have, we have to recover the next day and be healthy enough and ready to play."
and it's the recovery with his swing? that's where it is? "yeah. yes it is."
how confident is he that he can make an impact this year still? "very confident. i know the players, the staff, upper management, they all believe in me that i can come back and contribute in a positive way and i do as well. i'm taking every necessary step, you know behind closed doors, the stuff that people don't see--tracking balls, getting my mechanics down, doing any drills i can that are non-taxing to make sure that my body's ready to go once i come back."
Grove additionally tweeted that Michael surmised there's no timetable or deadline for his return and he will continue to work on coming back as soon as possible.
later, reporters met with Francona to discuss Michael as well. via Bastian, Tito insisted the Indians aren't close to thinking Michael needs to be shut down; as long as he can play rehab games, there's a chance. Bastian also tweeted something i've heard from Francona since the spring: "if you had Brantley back where he's playing two out of three, that's better than no out of three."
according to Meisel, Tito further pointed out, "he wants desperately to play--we know that. there's been a couple times he's come in and almost, like, apologized. and i'm just real quick to tell him, 'you don't need to do that.' what we ask our guys is try hard, be a good citizen. he's off the charts in those areas. his shoulder just hurts. that's not his fault. he's trying his damnedest, man."
Grove had more from the skipper in his scout.com article. "the way he plays left field, that's what he's been like in the training room. believe me, when he can play, he will."
and while there is no deadline for Michael to come back, if he's not playing rehab games by September, his return might no longer be possible. "i think as long as we have some games left where he can [go on a rehab assignment]," Francona stated. "that would be tough if you get into September and there's nowhere for him to see live pitching, yeah, that's a lot to ask. but, we're still a pretty good ways from that."
July 29: in the afternoon, Bastian tweeted that Francona communicated Michael continued to hit off a pitching machine today to better replicate game speed and he might have more of an update on Saturday [July 30]. then in the evening, Hoynsie's cleveland.com article added that team doctors will examine Michael on Saturday to see how he's progressing from last week's procedure to break up the scar tissue along his right biceps tendon.
July 30: during the Indians game, when WTAM 1100 radio broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus gave the Elk & Elk injury report, he informed listeners that Michael had a light day today. and Bastian's article on indians.com noted that he continues to take batting practice off a pitching machine to better simulate game speed. Tito contended there's still no firm timetable for when he will resume his minor league rehab assignment.
July 31: Francona told media members during his presser about the trade for Andrew Miller on indians.com that Michael had a down day, but he'll ramp up again tomorrow and he's doing okay.
Rosey's Elk & Elk injury report furthermore made it known that it was a slower day today for Michael and Francona expects him to get back in the cage tomorrow and increase his activity. he elaborated everything's going well and reiterated Michael's doing okay.
DL Updates (August 2-16)
August 2: there were no Michael updates yesterday, most likely because everyone was wrapped up in the recent trades and new Indians coming to the ballclub. however, this morning, Paul Hoynes responded to someone's twitter inquiry that Michael's still hitting off a pitching machine and cranking it to "Nolan Ryan-type" velocity and that he's feeling good per Terry Francona.
in the afternoon, T.J. Zuppe posted an article on cleveland.cbslocal.com with an excerpt on Michael, including that he continues to hit off a pitching machine in the batting cage but there's still no timetable for when he will resume his minor league rehab assignment. "he had a good day and he's kind of fired up about it," Francona shared. "he's doing good. his volume has been extended."
August 3: early on during the Indians game, radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton enthusiastically reported to WTAM 1100 listeners that Michael hit live today off Joe Colon, who's also on the disabled list and pitched a simulated game. Hammy went on that Michael's really feeling good and commented it may be shortly that he gets to go out and play in minor league rehab games. Michael had been cranking up the pitching machine to the upper 90s and hitting off velocity because he gets more off of that. but Hammy contended that hitting outside on the field against Colon, who gets it up there into the mid-90s, is a good sign.
later, an article on cleveland.com by Zack Meisel further supplied that Francona will meet with Michael to determine the next course of action in his rehab process. "by all accounts, Brantley is feeling really good."
August 7: in the midst of the Indians road trip (during which time you can usually expect little to no news about Michael), WTAM 1100 broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus gave his Novacare Rehabilitation injury report during the afternoon game. he had nothing new to disclose, just that Michael's still building up and "hitting off a pitching machine and the like."
August 8: while the Tribe had an off day, a new Indians Inbox by Jordan Bastian appeared on indians.com in the afternoon. someone requested to know the status of Michael and if we're going to see him this year. Bastian answered that he continues to work through a hitting program, but there remains no firm timetable for his return to game activity. he noted that there might be more information when the Indians return to Cleveland [on August 11], where Francona can sit down with the medical team and Michael in person to discuss his progress. Bastian lastly added that he wouldn't venture to guess if or when Michael will be back for the Tribe.
then in the early evening, Hoynsie broke some news that came as a surprise to me, mainly because they don't generally make injury updates available on road trips or off days. but his cleveland.com article exposed that Michael's comeback had stalled once again. there weren't any particulars, only that the hydrodissection procedure he had done [on July 21] initially relieved his pain, but now "he still can't generate enough pain-free force to be effective."
August 9: i anticipated more details today and they came rushing in around the 5 o'clock hour. Bastian gets credit as the first of MANY to tweet the official release from the Indians regarding Michael. it read: LF Michael Brantley recently experienced a recurrence of right shoulder symptoms while progressing through hitting activities late last week. Brantley was seen yesterday by Dr. Stephen O'Brien at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York City. Dr. O'Brien confirmed that Michael is experiencing symptoms consistent with chronic biceps tendinitis. the club is in the process of conducting additional medical due diligence to formulate the most appropriate plan moving forward. additional information will be provided once available.
shortly after, Bastian tweeted that Chris Antonetti, Indians President of Baseball Operations, said surgery is "a possibility," but the Indians are gathering more information to determine if that step is necessary.
Hoynsie's evening article on cleveland.com had more from Antonetti. "the plan moving forward will be to get the group of doctors that have seen Michael and are familiar with his case to get together and come up with a plan of care for him. what exactly that means, we don't know yet."
as for surgery, he stated, "how likely and what exactly the nature of the surgery would be, that's why we need to get all the doctors together to figure out what their recommendation is.
"there is nothing more anyone could have asked from Michael. i know he's been disappointed that he hasn't been able to come back and impact the team the way he had envisioned, but the one thing we all know is it's not for lack of work, effort, commitment and passion for getting back. there's nobody who has worked harder throughout the rehabilitation process than Michael, nor has been more diligent in doing it."
"he's done such a good job of getting ready to play," Tito declared in Bastian's article on indians.com. "and then, once he gets to that last step, he feels it. so, we're trying to get to the bottom of it. the most important thing is to get to the bottom of it and, whatever needs to be done, we will. we should know something here pretty soon."
August 11: Hayden Grove took video during Francona's afternoon media session as he reviewed the current dilemma in relation to Michael. "talked to Brant for quite a while. i think i mentioned, he went to New York, saw the specialist there, came back. what we're doing now is everybody's kinda putting their heads together, including Michael. he's been a part of this the whole way, as he should be. and i would think in the next couple days we will have some more definite plans for what he's gonna do. it's not just if he has surgery, but what kind of surgery, where, things like that. so there's a lot of stuff to work through and we're doing that now. and like i said, when we have something that's firm, we'll explain it to everybody."
August 12: Bastian tweeted the Indians were still "in the holding pattern" on Michael according to Francona because the outfielder was still consulting the medical team about the specifics of his next step.
August 13: Bastian was the first to tweet the devastating news from Tito at 4:25 pm that Michael will have season-ending surgery on Monday [August 15], the specifics of which will be announced later. Hoynsie followed up with a tweet that the surgery will be done in Dallas, Texas by Dr. Keith Meister and Dr. Mark Shickendantz, while Bastian's indians.com article unveiled it will take place at TMI Sports Medicine.
here's one of the last photos of Michael in the dugout during the Indians game before leaving for his surgery:
|photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer|
i've already written a separate blog containing several quotes from Francona as well as my personal thoughts on everything that's happened to Michael since his November surgery, which you can read here.
August 15: the Indians played a makeup game at 1:10 pm, and after the game Hoynsie tweeted that Michael's surgery started later than expected and the Indians will probably have an update on Tuesday [August 16].
August 16: in a press release on indians.com, the Indians revealed that Michael had a 45-minute procedure, known as biceps tenodesis, on August 15 in Dallas, Texas to address the chronic biceps tendinitis in his right shoulder. when Dr. Meister and Dr. Shickendantz performed the surgery, they also confirmed that Michael's labral repair was intact and the remainder of the shoulder joint looked good. he will need about four months in order to make a full recovery and should be ready in time to have a normal spring training in 2017. i wrote a blog with more details about it along with some quotes from the manager here.
in addition, i wrote a subsequent blog with supplementary information explaining just what biceps tenodesis (surgery) entails. you can read that here.
and finally, here is a Michael Brantley injury updates timeline that Bastian posted on his twitter (though i still believe he has the incorrect date for the hydrodissection procedure):
|photo courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter|
if you missed any of the Michael updates prior to May 16, check out these previous blogs about his shoulder condition, starting with his surgery on November 9, 2015:
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
and be sure to read these separate breaking news blogs as well:
Brantley To Have Season-Ending Right Shoulder Surgery
Brantley Undergoes Biceps Tenodesis, Recovery Will Take 4 Months
What Is Biceps Tenodesis?
i will include any post-surgery updates about Michael that come out during the rest of this season in my future monthly blogs. and don't forget, you can get as-it's-happening information about Michael by following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23. you can also get emails when i post new blogs by becoming a subscriber--the sign up box is over on the right side of my blog.
to see all of Michael's rehab numbers, breakdowns, and game lines from this latest DL stint, please read the continuation of this blog:
Brantley's July 2016 Minor League Rehab #s (2nd DL Stint)