Friday, November 4, 2016

Wrapping Up Brantley's 2016 Season

from Michael Brantley's perspective, i cannot say i'm sorry to see the 2016 baseball season go. for him, it was unlike any other and certainly will not be mentioned in the "best of" seasons of his career. we basically got a taste of what Indians baseball will be like without Dr. Smooth in the (hopefully far off) future. except, in an unexpected twist, the team did not seem in desperate need of its best hitter this year; not until the end, that is. on the other hand, Michael can now claim that he's already had a bit of experience as a coach in Major League Baseball once he's a retired player since his main role in 2016 became providing his teammates with his baseball knowledge, guidance, and pointers.

this final wrap up blog is somewhat different from how i've previously done it. that's due to the fact that Michael didn't play a full season, and so i couldn't really give justifiable comments about it or do fair comparisons of it to his past seasons. additionally, it's being posted later than usual because the Indians recently completed a long playoff run and i wanted to include my thoughts on that in here as well. nonetheless, this blog consists of some highlights from Michael's playing time with the Tribe, quotes, and
links to all the blogs that discuss his shoulder/biceps issues throughout the season.

there are several sections of topics in this blog, but please be sure to read or skim/scroll all the way to the end where i've expressed my thank yous to those who made my posts possible and everyone who viewed my blog this year!

in case you're interested or want a refresher, here are links to all the 2016 monthly Brantley blogs:
Brantley's April 2016 #s blog,
Brantley's May 2016 #s blog,
Brantley's June 2016 blog,
Brantley's July 2016 blog,
Brantley's August 2016 blog,
Brantley's September/October 2016 blog, and
Brantley's 2016 Postseason October/November blog.

now for the last time, here are Michael's final #s for the 2016 regular season:

Michael had 43 plate appearances and 39 at bats in 11 games (89.1 innings). in total, he had 9 hits, 2 extra base hits, 7 singles, 2 doubles, 7 RBI, 1 sac fly, 5 runs, 3 walks, 1 intentional walk, 1 stolen base (3rd), 1 GIDP, 6 strikeouts (3 swinging, 3 looking), 1 first at bat hit, 11 total bases, 14 left on base, 18 putouts, and 1 assist.

2016 season batting average: .231 (9-39)

OBP: .279

SLG: .282

OPS: .561

overall #s while playing the outfield: 18 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (89.1 innings, 11 games)

Michael did not play in the playoffs and had no 2016 Postseason numbers of any kind.

those definitely do not look like final/overall season numbers for a player of Michael Brantley's stature. so even if you didn't know what'd happened to him or what he'd gone through all year, you'd still have to assume something abnormal was afoot. and you'd be right.

Michael's Bevy of Health Issues

let me cut to the chase here. first, soreness from Michael's surgically repaired torn labrum postponed his 2016 debut. then, after he played in just 11 games with the Indians, he developed right shoulder inflammation, which was later more specifically pinpointed as a subacromial impingement. next, it was right biceps tendinitis that delayed his comeback and chronic right biceps tendinitis eventually put a permanent end to it. he had surgery for his tendinitis, known as biceps tenodesis, on August 15 and was given a four month timetable for a full recovery. so Michael essentially finished his season the same way he started it--with some sort of right arm hindrance keeping him out of action.

when the season began and Michael opened it up on the DL, in my head i was already trying to calculate approximately how many games he would play for the year, and figuring out when he'd become a qualifying player and get back in the race to defend his title of owning the highest batting average on the team for four straight years. of course i based my guesstimations on the belief that once he returned, he would remain healthy all year. sadly, that didn't happen. i don't think anyone expected his 2016 campaign to be afflicted with setbacks and continual shoulder/biceps problems. it was unfortunate, but Michael handled it all like the professional that he is.

Michael opened himself up for a media session 15 days after his season-ending surgery. the following contains parts of that session, as transcribed by me, from a video that T.J. Zuppe took and posted on

on finding out he needed to have another surgery: "it was tough, but at the same time i knew that i did everything in my power to get back this year. i mean, i tried multiple times as we all know. it just didn't work out for me. so i kinda had to accept the hand that i was dealt and go from there.

"i'd kinda get built all the way up and then i'd go into a game situation and i'd just get worn down very, very quickly. i couldn't sustain the play every day and that's what you gotta do, not to mention the level. and unfortunately with some different tests and stuff we figured out, we found out that i needed another surgery. i was gonna continue to keep working as hard as i could to get back this year and do whatever i could but, i didn't stop working until the doctor said, 'hey, listen, this is what we need to do to be able to be healthy and be able to play at a high level.'"

on the team's performance in his absence and his new role: "they're doing such a great job. i still, i feel like i'm almost there in the games sometimes when i'm rooting from the couch and they're on the road trips and i'm not being able to be there for them. i just turn into a, basically a superfan. but that's alright cause i get a chance to talk to them and text them and still be in this locker room, be in this atmosphere, and just do anything i can to help a young guy, or any questions they have or anything, i'm here for. i can't be on the field with them as much as i want obviously, cause of this. but you know anything i can do in the dugout, in the locker room, after a game, anything i can do to ease somebody's mind or help somebody in a positive way to impact this team, that's what my role is."

on having surgery in August as opposed to waiting until the offseason: "you just have extra time now. i know it's a four month rehab, but at the same time, i have a little bit of extra just in case, i don't have to rush it for anything to get back. my main goal is when i come in to spring training, day 1, that i don't have any limitability. i want to be able to play from, you know, the time they say 'play ball' to... the first day i get there, i don't want no restrictions at all, and just have a normal, easy camp going into it so i can get built up like i normally do. i think it's gonna be very important to do it that way.

"i'm very knowledgeable what's going on. this is my second time kinda going through something similar, so i know what i have to do to get back on the field and stay the course of action and not try to rush it and not do too much and when i'm ready to go, i'm ready to go."

on if he believes his rehab was mishandled: "i do not. i feel like i did everything in my power, so did the Cleveland organization. i felt great at times, and then at times i didn't feel so well. it's something that just happened. i'm not happy that it happened, i want to be out there and play with my team, of course. but at the same time, it's the cards that i was dealt, i understand that. but i did everything within this organization that they asked me to do and i know i gave it my all myself, so i don't think it was mishandled at all."

alas, there was some controversy in the early going surrounding whether Michael came back too soon initially in April. but my concern was always him playing four straight complete games from May 3-6 and six games over seven days (May 8 & 9). to this day, i don't understand why that was allowed. i never saw Terry Francona speak on it specifically, nor did any media members ask that question explicitly.

i mentioned in a previous blog that it's probable Michael communicated to Tito and his team doctors that he felt fine and could keep playing, though i wish someone would have stepped in and made a (better) judgment call to prohibit that. there's no guarantee that would have changed the outcome of his year, however. in fact, it may only have delayed his biceps tendinitis. but maybe we could have gotten another handful of games out of him before his shoulder problems arose again. it might not have helped the Tribe overall in the grand scheme of things, but for Michael, he potentially could have ended his year with a few more stats and a little higher batting average. **shoulder shrug.** nothing we can do about it now.

here are all the blogs i wrote throughout the season featuring Michael's DL updates and health news in elaborate detail if you'd like to refer back to them:
Brantley To Open Indians' 2016 Season On 15-Day DL
Brantley Placed on 15-Day DL with Right Shoulder Inflammation
Brantley's May 2016 DL Updates
Brantley's May 16 - August 16, 2016 DL Stint Updates
Brantley Transferred to 60-Day DL
Brantley To Have Season-Ending Right Shoulder Surgery
Brantley Undergoes Biceps Tenodesis, Recovery Will Take 4 Months
What Is Biceps Tenodesis?
Brantley's August 2016 Post-Surgery Interview
Brantley's September 2016 Sling Updates
Brantley's 2016 Postseason Rehab Updates

and for information about Michael's initial November 2015 shoulder surgery, his 2016 offseason, and his 2016 preseason/spring training, check these blogs out:
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!)

Consequences of Not Playing and What Was Missed

nobody could have drawn up Michael's season this way, but it couldn't be helped, and not playing a full season this year did take several opportunities away from him. here is some of what Michael missed out on (in no particular order):

--Michael had no career highs, no team leads, and no Indians records. at this stage of his career, that's quite unusual. i love seeing him set new records for himself and possess team highs, so it was disheartening that he couldn't attempt that in 2016, and that he didn't have the luxury of building up a full season of stats and adding those to his overall baseball career resume.

--Michael did not play enough to continue any consecutive season streaks that he had going, minus the four-hit game streak. (see the Some Final #s & Stats section of the blog below for details.) for example, his streak of four straight seasons with at least 150 hits (2012-2015) is now defunct, as are his two straight seasons with 45 doubles (2014-2015) and his four consecutive seasons (2012-2015) of having the highest batting average out of all the qualifying players on the Indians.

--because his overall stats for this year were so low, he also won't have a chance next year to boast any back-to-back season stats/streaks.

--Michael did not get to reap the benefits of batting ahead of Mike Napoli this year. i think it really would have been interesting if Michael had played a full season in front of him in the batting order. Nap started getting hot at the plate right after Michael was shut down again in May, and i would've loved to have seen how many times Michael scored as a result of Napoli's hits/home runs. (and we may not get to see that in 2017 because it's not guaranteed right now that Nap will re-sign with the Indians.) aside from that, i wonder how many RBI Michael would have taken away from Nap if Michael hit fourth in the lineup all year and drove in his now typical 80+ ribbies. i said it before, Napoli owes Michael a big thank you for his career high 101 RBI this season, no question. throw him his own party--party at Brantley's! lol

--maybe the biggest downside of his injury-plagued season is Michael missed out on the chance to play in three playoff series that he's never played in before and was unable to add to his career postseason statistics. i would have given anything to see how Michael performed in the World Series, you don't even know. he wasn't on the Indians' postseason roster, his name was nowhere on the playoff t-shirts, he wasn't interviewed for TV, he wasn't in any promo/hype videos, he wasn't highlighted in the programs, he had no postseason stats to speak of and/or rank, and he did not have a World Series bobblehead made of him.

--in the future, when people speak about this 2016 team, Michael will be an afterthought--"they did it all without him." despite him saying that he was happy for the team, and his teammates and Terry Francona acknowledging that Michael was still an integral part of what they were doing this season (read the subsequent section of this blog), to have to simply experience it all from the dugout must have been difficult. i wish that hadn't been the case for him and i hope he never has to go through that again.

Michael's "Coaching" Role from His Spot on the Bench

(note: i was saying this basically all year, by the way. i didn't steal it after it appeared in a post-season article.)

Michael may not have used the term "coach," but he proved to be as much when he declared he was helping his teammates with anything they needed this season while he was unable to lead by example on the field. on October 21, an article came out on by John Perrotto about how Michael has influenced the team this year irrespective of not playing. now remember, this is also the same website that previously published an article alleging Michael could miss significant time in 2017 already. be that as it may, the authors are different so i gave this article the benefit of the doubt. not that we didn't already know Michael was helping the rookies and other guys, because i've posted precisely that in other blogs. but i thought this was important to include in my wrap up, so here's what Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor had to say, according to Perrotto:

"he's been there for me all season," Naquin stated, "not only to give me encouragement, but a lot of advice. he has the type of knowledge of someone who has been in the game for 60 years. he understands every aspect of the game and he's always very willing to share his knowledge. there have been so many times during a game where situations arise and i'll ask him about it in the dugout. he always has a good answer, always provides good guidance."

"he's not only a great player but the heart and soul of this team," Lindor proclaimed. "he took me under his wing the first day i got to the major leagues and he's helped me every step of the way. he has been like a big brother to me."

two days after the Indians lost the World Series, President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti disclosed the following in an article by Zack Meisel on "from the time he had the surgery and realized he wasn't going to be able to contribute on the field, he was determined to still positively impact the team in some way. ...he almost served as another coach, where he was constantly looking for ways to help his teammates and be there to support them and try to help them succeed. that says a lot about the guy."

Some Final #s & Stats

Michael's 2016 season was not one for the record books. the lone personal record he set was most missed games in one Major League season due to injuries. otherwise, there were no career highs to speak of. he did, however, become the 4th player in Indians history to record at least one four-hit game in eight consecutive seasons. that's at least one four-hit game every year since he's been in the majors.

this season, Michael played in 11 of 161* games. he had a hit in 6 of the 11 games that he played and reached base safely in 7 games.

(*1 game in September was postponed due to rain. MLB rescheduled it for the day after the regular season ended, but it was only to be played if the game would have any postseason implications. because the Indians won and the Boston Red Sox lost on the final day of the regular season, that secured the Indians home field advantage in the ALDS, AND also because the Detroit Tigers lost and were eliminated from the AL Wild Card race on the final day of the regular season, the PPD game became unnecessary and was officially cancelled.)

Michael's season did not include any hitting streaks, but he did manage one five-game on-base streak, which occurred during a homestand.

in 2016, Michael had 1 multi-hit game, 1 three+ hit game, and 1 multi-RBI game. he also had 1 four-hit game, giving him 11 now in his career. in addition, he had 2 go-ahead hits and 2 go-ahead RBI.

Michael had an RBI in over 45% of the games he played in this year as well, or seven total in 11 games. he hit an RBI single in three straight games and four out of five straight games. furthermore, he had at least one RBI in four of the last six games he played in 2016.

besides that, he scored a run in four consecutive games and in four of his final five games, too. it's not much, but bear in mind he only played 11 games and was battling shoulder soreness. therefore, what he accomplished was actually pretty decent production. i strongly urge those who insist on referring to Michael's performance this year as "ineffective," which i find offensive, to look at some of his stats again.

Michael played 11 games total where he was in left field. he started 10 games in left field and completed all 10 of those games. he was a defensive switch into left field in 1 game for 1 inning.

Michael was also a PH in 1 game. he came in to PH in the top of the 8th inning in 1 game and then was a defensive switch into left field for 1 inning.

offensively, Michael saw time in three different spots in the batting order this year. he mainly bat cleanup, as that was supposed to be his new main BOP for 2016. but he also spent one game batting 3rd and got one at bat in a game in the leadoff spot.

after four consecutive years of finishing the season with the highest batting average out of all the qualifying Indians players, his reign has come to an end. Michael's .231 average was nowhere to be found in the team rankings of qualifiers because a.) he didn't play anywhere near enough to be considered a qualifier and b.) that BA is way too low.

My Favorite Michael Brantley Highlights of 2016

if you asked me to come up with my favorite highlight of Michael's season, i would immediately point to his outing on May 5 in the game versus the Detroit Tigers. it was his eighth game of the season after returning from the 15-Day DL and that's when we began to see shades of his normal self at the plate. he went 4-for-5 that night and a perfect 3-for-3 against Detroit's starting pitcher, rookie Michael Fulmer.

it just so happened Fulmer was one of the pitchers Michael faced during his first minor league rehab assignment in April when he was playing with the Triple A Columbus Clippers not even two weeks prior to this game. at that time, Michael went 0-for-3 against him with a groundout, strikeout, and lineout. i suspected that batting against Fulmer in the minors was advantageous for Michael and that seemed to be true as he hit three singles, had one RBI, and scored one run against him in the majors.

Michael got his fourth hit of the game when he hit a 2-out, 2-run double with the bases loaded against southpaw Blaine Hardy. the ball bounced just fair on the right field line in the corner, and so he finished with three total RBI in the game.

Michael's four hits raised his batting average 109 points from the previous day. moreover, Jordan Bastian tweeted that Michael saw a total of 23 pitches, took nine swings, and had zero swings-and-misses. his only out of the night was a flyout (to left-center field). Dr. Smooth was seemingly back.

on this night, Michael smacked ground balls and line drives all over the field. one grounder was hit to right field and one was hit to center, while one line drive was hit to left-center field and the other was hit to right. "using the whole field, that's very important," he told Indians in-game reporter Andre Knott after the game. (his full interview can be found on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel here.)

how did it feel to have a four-hit game? "it felt great," he revealed in Hayden Grove's article on "(it's about) having the confidence that it's going to come around. everything will be all right."

"when he's himself, that's why he hits .300, because he uses the entire field," Terry Francona explained via Ryan Lewis' blog on "even when guys make pitches, he still has the ability, like, you saw the one. he hit the two-strike pitch to left field and then, you try to come in, and he can pull it down the line. that looked a lot like him tonight."

Michael also made a classic Brantley catch in left field during this game. he ran back towards the warning track with an outstretched arm and after he caught the ball, sprawled himself out onto the track. (and his shoulder held up fine.) his putout was a big one because it robbed hitter Nick Castellanos of at least an RBI single, which would have cut the Tigers' deficit down to one run. overall, Michael was extremely productive both offensively and defensively.

another highlight came for me when Michael was on the DL in early August and not even playing. i can't forget how cool i thought it was that Michael was included in the Cleveland Indians edition of a Papa John's commercial!

leave a comment below with your favorite Michael memory of 2016!

Past Season Comparisons

typically this is where i compare Michael's most recent season to his past seasons and comment on his stats, but since he hardly played in 2016, there's nothing to really compare or comment about. instead, i'm going to post the stats from his previous five seasons as a reminder that Michael really can play when he's healthy.

Category 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

Batting Average .310 .327 .284 .288 .266*

OBP .379 .385 .332 .348 .318
SLG .480 .506 .396 .402 .384
OPS .859 .890 .728 .750 .702

Plate Appearances  596  676  611  609  496
At Bats  529  611  556  552  451
Games Played  137  156  151  149  114

Hits  164  200  158  159  120
Singles  104  133  119  112    85
Doubles    45    45    26    37    24
Triples      0      2      3      4      4
Home Runs    15    20    10      6      7
RBI    84    97    73    60    46
Sac Flies      5      5      8      4      5
Runs Scored    68    94    66    63    63
Walks    60    52    40    53    34
Intentional Walks      8      4      1    12      2
Hit By Pitches      2      8      4      0      3
Stolen Bases    15    23    17    12    13
Caught Stealing      1      1      4      9      5
Sac Bunts      0      0      3      0      3
Strikeouts    51    56    67    56    76
Total Bases  254  309  220  222  173
Extra Base Hits    60    67    39    47    35
First At Bat Hits    34    51    42    36 DND

Innings 1034.2 1304.1 1297.1 1237  971
Putouts   212   271   257  336  236
Assists    8   12    11    5    5
Double Plays    1    2     1    3    2
Errors    2    1     0    1    3
Fielding % .991 .996 1.000 .997 .988

*if he hadn't played injured, i calculated a .281 BA

black bold = i did not document this then

blue bold = a career high

we've seen Michael play a full season in good health, like in 2014, and we've seen him battle a lingering injury throughout the year, like in 2015, and both of those seasons turned out exceptional. he couldn't emulate either of those in 2016 though because his biceps pain had a direct effect on his ability to swing a bat, and after many periods of rest and a few shots, it was discovered that the discomfort was not going to subside without surgery. it was an issue that he simply had no chance to come back from on his own.

Michael's 2014 and 2015 seasons were when he finally realized his true potential as a baseball player. as a result, it's fair to look for similar performances and numbers from him in his upcoming years. and yes, i did think, regardless of him starting the season late and returning from an injury, that he would put up some high ranking statistics in 2016. but that never occurred because he didn't play nearly as many games as i surmised he would. so while i can't dissect his stats from this year, i can surely anticipate Michael will get back to his usual 2014 and 2015 self in 2017 and put together another outstanding season.

as has become the norm, i did not miss any of Michael's plate appearances this year. although, considering he only had 43 total, i guess it wasn't that hard to be present for them all lol BUT i also didn't miss any of his rehab games with the minor league teams and i live tweeted every one of his trips to the plate. (i don't know anybody else who did that.) and like always, i documented Michael's stats in an Excel spreadsheet on my laptop and hand wrote them in a notebook. the point of sharing that here is to ensure you that all my calculations for this season are accurate.

Recalling My Preseason Predictions

before this season began, i blogged about what i hoped to see from Michael in 2016. i made my predictions full well knowing that Michael was not going to start the season with the Indians and would miss most, if not all, of the month of April. so i kept my expectations a little on the low side. here is a reminder of my predictions, made with the assumption that once he rejoined the Tribe, he would be healthy for the rest of the year, but probably get some extra games off for precautionary reasons:

--i'd like to hope that after Michael spent so much time carefully rehabbing, he can survive 2016 without any shoulder issues/setbacks and that he won't have any other serious injuries to deal with this time around. knowing Francona is assuredly going to give him days off here and there whenever he feels like Michael needs a break, particularly when he first returns, i don't know that i can expect him to play more than 130 games this season.

--Michael may need to shake off some rust since he did not play a full spring training, but he has shown he can hit whether he's completely healthy, like in 2014, or battling injuries, like in 2015. this year i'm gonna predict a batting average between .300-.305. it would be higher, but because of the circumstances of his offseason, i'm not comfortable predicting anything other than that.

--i'm confident that Michael will hit at least 15 homers this season, and if he's truly healthy, then he'll probably hit more than that. i might be predicting towards the lower end of the spectrum, but even 15 isn't a bad number for him.

--since he's not playing a full season, i have to predict a lower RBI total for him. i'm gonna go with a minimum of 70 and a maximum of 85.

--doubles: 40

--runs: 70 (it's so hard to judge this cause we don't know how the guys batting behind him will perform)

--walks: 45

--stolen bases: 18

--total defensive errors: 1

--outfield assists: 10

regrettably, my predictions and hopes were all wrong due to the fact that i based my guesses on Michael playing a large portion of the year and not a mere 11 games. i never suspected a new health issue would develop after his first one was resolved. so there's not much point in going through each category and saying how off i was, because that's pretty clear.

instead, i want to take a minute to speak on his batting average and the end of his consecutive team batting title streak. from 2012-2015, Michael's season batting average led all the qualifying players on the Indians. BUT, because Michael was not a qualifier this year, technically his streak remains. if he plays a sufficient amount of games in 2017 and leads the team in BA, he can still boast having the highest average on the team in the last five seasons that he qualified. it won't be the last five straight seasons, but... just something to keep in mind ;D

Next Season Wishes and Why Michael Won't Become a DH/1B

2016 wasn't the season we envisioned for Michael, but it wasn't his fault in any way. i am proud of his dedication to the rehab process and all his attempted comebacks, and i am optimistic that the comeback trail he's currently on will have a happy end result. we already know that the November 9, 2015 surgery he had for his torn labrum was a success and, as of his surgery on August 15, that labral repair was intact and strong. so that problem has been solved.

what nobody foresaw was the chronic biceps pain that Michael continued to experience after building up the volume of his daily swings once he was playing in games during rehab. i imagine that once he fully recovers from his latest procedure, the relocation of his bicep will alleviate that pain and render it a non-issue for 2017. i see no reason for Michael's baseball career to be in jeopardy or for him to have this nagging shoulder condition next year. but, i know other Tribe fans feel differently.

i have seen several people on twitter starting to talk about next season for the Indians and predicting who's gonna be a starter and where Michael will fit in. some of these people have written Michael in as the Tribe's new part-time designated hitter, and a few even think he might need to be relegated to 1st base in the future. but i ask, why would Michael, the Indians' best left fielder, need to decrease his time in the outfield all of the sudden? throwing the ball was never an obstacle for him this year. so if fans honestly think DHing would help his shoulder stay healthy, then there's apparently some confusion about what was actually wrong.

Michael only felt pain when his right arm extended after taking a swing at the plate. he did not feel pain when he was throwing the ball with his left arm from left field. there's no correlation there because his ability to throw was never in question. if Michael can't swing a bat, then he can't play period, and DHing or moving to 1st is not going to affect that. don't forget, earlier this year while he was still building up the strength in his right arm, he was out on the field throwing the baseball around. so i don't understand the reasoning for the "new DH/1B" role because it doesn't make sense.

surprisingly, during Chris Antonetti's press conference [earlier today] on November 4, he reaffirmed that Michael will remain an outfielder. glad that's settled. (i swear, some people who tweet need to be banned from that form of social media for life.)

now Michael will continue with his rehab program during this (shortened) offseason, and then be cleared to gradually start hitting sometime next month in preparation for spring training 2017. (this was also confirmed [November 4] by the Indians twitter account.) so by the time everyone has reported to Goodyear, Arizona, Michael should be ready to participate in everything that the team does as well as play in his regular amount of Cactus League games.

i sincerely hope Michael does not have any more injuries to overcome in 2017. he dealt with an abundance of shit in 2016 and deserves a normal year. please let him be healthy and get to play a full season so we can all see the star he is once again. i of course want him to play hard, because that's a big part of his repertoire, but please, please, please, don't let him get hurt!

Countdown to 2017

unlike last year when the Indians did not make the playoffs, i feel like now we can enter the offseason on somewhat of a high note. though the Indians were not the World Series victors, they did one hell of a job, had one hell of a season, and are absolutely going to make another run at the Commissioner's Trophy next year, especially when they add a healthy Michael Brantley back into the mix. 'til then, we've got 150 days until the Indians start their 2017 season on April 3 against the Texas Rangers, and 158 days until the Home Opener on April 11 versus the Chicago White Sox. can't wait! Go Tribe!


so many people helped make all my blog posts possible with the timely updates they provided about Michael's condition throughout the season. i have to give a huge THANK YOU to my favorite Tribe Scribes for all their articles, tweets, stats, quotes, pictures, and videos that encompassed my monthly Brantley blogs this year. these guys--Paul Hoynes, Jordan Bastian, Zack Meisel, T.J. Zuppe, Hayden Grove, Terry Pluto, and Ryan Lewis in particular--are the reason i am able to share such detailed information with all my viewers and without them, my posts would be nothing but numbers. their hard work and diligence is very inspiring to an aspiring writer like myself. i also want to acknowledge the Indians twitter account. i don't know who all runs it, but their tweets are greatly appreciated by me as well!

other than DL updates, i know i did not deliver vast content of interest this year, so i really want to thank everyone who stuck with my blog this season and kept reading my monthly posts despite the lack of statistics presented. i appreciate you so much! whether you're a lurker or a sporadic reader or a regular, when my view count goes up, i am extremely grateful.

furthermore, i was very excited to see that my blog got a lot of new viewers from a plethora of countries over the course of this year. i honestly didn't even know some of these places existed, and it's truly an honor and quite humbling to discover that my baseball posts are reaching people all around the world. the internet can be a harsh place at times, but it can also be a pretty cool medium when it brings people with similar interests together. once again, thank you to everyone who visited in 2016 and i hope to see you back here in 2017!

for all of Michael Brantley's 2016 number breakdowns, statistics, and league rankings, be sure to read this trio of previously posted blogs:
Brantley's 2016 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes
Brantley's 2016 Batting Order Position & LF/PH #s
Brantley's 2016 Situational #s & Statistics

(FYI--ordinarily this wrap up blog gets posted in conjunction with these three posts, but i had to wait until the Tribe's playoff run was over so i could squeeze in a postseason Brantley blog first.)

and if you missed it, you can check out the blog about Brantley & the Indians' Postseason here:
Brantley's 2016 Postseason October/November

stay tuned: a new blog analyzing the Tribe's 2016 season and postseason is coming soon!

my Brantley blogs might be done for now, but i presume updates on his rehab progression will emerge throughout the offseason. last year, Michael spent most of his offseason rehabbing up in Cleveland versus down in his hometown in Florida. this year, he already announced he was going to be in Cleveland in October anyway even if the Indians hadn't made the playoffs, and it sounded as though that was the plan for his November, December, and January as well.

regardless of his location, anything i find out will be tweeted out accordingly @clevelandgirl23, so make sure you're following me on there. and once i get ample information to post a blog, i will do that too. also, if you'd like, you can sign up for my email subscription list--over on the right side of the page--for alerts when new blogs are posted!

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