Thursday, August 31, 2017

Brantley's August 2017 #s (w/ DL Updates)

what's up, Brantley fans? thanks so much to those of you who read my Brantley's July 2017 #s blog and Brantley's 2017 #s Through July blog. and let me welcome my brand new readers from Ghana, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Belarus, Estonia, Jordan, Mali, and Peru. i'm happy to see you all here!πŸ‘‹

okay, now it's time to get into Michael's August. even though he didn't play much, there's a lot of news to cover and, unfortunately, the bulk of that is going to consist of DL updates. although, the updates are lacking in detail (and progression), if i'm being honest.πŸ™

August Overview

ankle sprain, ankle sprain, ankle sprain. Michael's had three in 2017 and the one he suffered this month has been the worst of all. case in point, he's been on the 10-Day DL since August 9 and it looks like he won't be rejoining the Indians on the field before mid-September. that mild sprain diagnosis certainly doesn't seem very accurate now. (more information on this can be found in the DL Updates section of the blog a little further down.)

Michael missed out on numerous significant events in August. he missed the chance to play in MLB's
Players Weekend and sport a jersey with his "Dr. Smooth" nickname on it, he missed some big divisional series games against Minnesota and Kansas City, and he did not get to face the Yankees in Yankee Stadium at the end of the month (a series in which i think he would have had great successπŸ˜•).

there were 28 games on the schedule this month and Michael didn't even play a quarter of them.😲 preceding his right ankle sprain, he played in six games between August 1-8, batting .286 (6-for-21) with one home run, three RBI, and one walk. Michael was placed on the disabled list on August 9 and that's where he stayed for the remainder of the month. therefore, he had an August batting average of .286, just like his July average except he played way more games then. Michael's season batting average currently stands at .299, exactly where it was at the conclusion of July.

Michael hasn't played in a road game since August 1, but he has an active 9-game hitting streak on the road and an active 13-game on-base streak on the road going into September. there isn't much else positive i can highlight about his month, so let me move on to the series breakdowns.

when August began, the Indians were in Massachusetts finishing up the last two games of a three-gamer against the Boston Red Sox. mother nature decided to rain out the finale, however, and so it was postponed until August 14. that gave Michael an RBI single with a 1-for-5 stat line in one game to start the month.

a six-game homestand came next, with four games versus the New York Yankees followed by a quick two-game set versus the Colorado Rockies. Michael performed really well in the series with the Bronx Bombers, going 5-for-14 with a home run, two RBI, and four runs scored. i didn't expect much from him during the Interleague matchup because he was previously rendered hitless when the Tribe played the Rockies over in Colorado in June. but i never could have imagined he'd sprain his right ankle again and miss all but 4.1 innings in the series. (i go into more details about this in the subsequent section, Michael's Right Ankle Lands Him on the 10-Day DL Again, below.) before he was removed from the opening game, he went 0-for-2 at the plate, and then he was placed on the 10-Day DL an hour before Game Two. that gave him an overall 5-for-16 showing at home. (Michael's injury aside, i'm relieved that there are no more scheduled games with National League teams this season. not until the World Series, that is.πŸ˜‰)

the Indians left for their 11-game road journey knowing that Michael would not be in uniform for most of it, if any of it. they played four games against the Tampa Bay Rays, the makeup game from earlier this month against the Red Sox, three games against the Minnesota Twins, and another three-gamer against the Kansas City Royals all without Michael. in those 11 games, the ballclub went 8-3. Michael was actually eligible to come off the DL during the KC series, but he was nowhere near ready to play again then. and in spite of what was reported the day Michael went on the DL, he did not travel with the team or join up with them anywhere on the trip.

(side note: Michael has not played in Tampa Bay since 2015. ordinarily, his family would travel out there to watch and support him, but they have not been able to do so the last two seasons because he's been hurt every time the Indians have ventured down to Tropicana Field. not only that, but Michael missed both series on astroturf this year, having also missed the one in Toronto against the Blue Jays with an ankle sprain in May. maybe he was better off though.)

when the team returned to Cleveland, they had four games with the BoSox and three more with the Royals at home. at this time, Michael's foot was out of the walking boot, but he was still "a ways away" from getting back on the field. in his absence, the Tribe split the Red Sox series and swept the Royals.

lastly, the month of August ended with three games against the Yankees in New York. i was really disappointed that Michael missed out on this series. once again, he was not even with the team and right now it is not known if he will join them in any city on the rest of their road trip, which continues through the first seven days of September. the Indians swept the Yanks, including sweeping a straight doubleheader, sans Michael.

this is not the way you want to see any player's month go, especially an important one such as Michael and with it being so late in the season. all we can do is hope that whenever Michael finally comes back, his ankle will be good enough to play for as long as the Indians need. #Octoberbaseball

if you're sad about Dr. Smooth, i can commiserate. feel free to share any thoughts you might have about Michael's August in a comment below.

Michael's Right Ankle Lands Him on the 10-Day DL Again

on August 8, during the game versus the Colorado Rockies, Michael re-injured his right ankle. it happened in the top of the 5th inning when he ran over to center field to back up Bradley Zimmer, who was about to catch a fly ball for the first out. after breaking hard for a few steps, Michael pulled up and then sat down on the grass until the athletic trainer came out to him. after Jeff Desjardins examined his right ankle, Michael was taken out of the game. he gingerly walked to the dugout under his own power, but required some help getting down the dugout steps that led to the clubhouse. it was pretty clear then that Michael would need another stint on the disabled list. following the Tribe's walk-off win, Terry Francona told the media Michael was going for an MRI and they'd have more information in the morning. on the bright side, he was at least able to confirm that Michael did not injure his Achilles tendon.

two hours ahead of the August 9 noon game versus the Rockies, it was revealed that Michael had a mild sprain. Francona indicated that the medical staff wanted to wait a day to see how Michael's ankle responded to treatment before making a decision about putting him on the disabled list and/or his travel plans for the upcoming road trip. not even an hour after that though, Michael was placed on the 10-Day DL. so i don't know what happened there.🀷

i previously posted a separate blog with more details about this. if you'd like to read or re-read that, please refer back to:
Brantley Placed on 10-Day DL with Right Ankle Sprain (Take Two)

unfortunately, he still has not been activated and lost out on the whole rest of the month, missing 22 games total. now here are all the daily DL updates i came across.

DL Updates (August 10-31)

August 10: after the Indians' late night trade for outfielder Jay Bruce from the New York Mets on August 9, there was a lot of speculation that Michael's injury was more serious than initially reported. from Jordan Bastian's blog on, Chris Antonetti, Indians President of Baseball Operations, claimed that they've been trying to acquire Bruce for years and Michael's recent injury reopened those talks. he assured everyone that there was no further (bad) news about his sprain. "...we'll have to see how he responds to treatment over the course of the next few days to get a better timetable."

(fwiw, Connor Mount, filling in for Bastian, wrote in his article on that Terry Francona explained how Antonetti called Michael and Lonnie Chisenhall before the Bruce deal was done to communicate with them about the OF acquisition.)

during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays, WTAM 1100 radio announcer Tom Hamilton shared that Michael was getting a second opinion on his ankle today.

August 12: a small excerpt in Paul Hoynes' article on clarified Hammy's proclamation. Michael had a specialist check his ankle on Friday [August 11], but "that was more to see how they can brace the ankle or tape it differently when he comes back so he can get a little more support on it," Tito informed.

August 13: at some point in the game against the Rays, Hammy rattled off injury updates for all the current Tribesmen who were on the DL. regarding Michael, he remarked, "nobody knows when he'll be back."

August 14: during the game against the Boston Red Sox, Hammy was very blunt when referring to Michael. he stated, "Michael Brantley is still a long way off. [his] foot is still in a walking boot." (i remember back in May, Michael wore the boot to speed up healing.)

August 15: per Francona, via Zack Meisel's article on, Michael is still wearing a walking boot for the purpose of easing the burden on his sprained ankle. Tito said there's no timetable for his return. the manager offered a few more details in Bastian's pregame blog on as well. "he's still in the healing stages. once that stops, then we'll start to get him [going]. and he's doing [rehab] stuff at the ballpark, but he's still in the healing stages."

prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins, in-game reporter for SportsTime Ohio Andre Knott tweeted to a fan that Michael would be out for "a few more weeks."😲😞

August 18: when Francona met with the media following the game against the Kansas City Royals, he spoke about the lineup and how when they get Brant back, their lineup can really make it tough on a starter. "but that's a little ways away," he added at the end in this FOX Sports Ohio youtube video. this marked Michael's 10th day spent on the DL, by the way.

August 19: Bastian's article unveiled that Michael remains in a walking boot most of the time but has been doing some light baseball activities recently. Francona supplied a lengthy update about Michael before the game against the Royals (without really giving much information at all), as provided in Bastian's Pregame Minutiae blog on "you know what? i'm sure we'll have an update. he's starting to do some baseball activities slowly, when he's out of the boot and stuff. we'll have a much better update when we go home [August 21]. we're trying to kind of not [give a timetable], because i know... he's going to be chomping at the bit. we need him so bad that rushing him is not good, and i think you know what i mean. we need him, but we don't need to rush him. we need to let him come back and have a chance to be himself, because when he is, he's one of the best players there is.

"when you're making out a lineup and he's not in it, it just kind of, you know... he's so consistent and you just plug him in and you put him in left and you know every play is going to get made that's supposed to. it's a nice feeling."

as for what the lineup will be when Michael returns, Tito hasn't thought about that yet. "no, i never do that. i really don't, because [shoot], when Brant comes back, somebody else might [be banged up]. it's kind of like our game--it's fluid. the one nice thing is, i know that nobody ever gives me a hard time if i think something makes sense."

August 21: according to William Kosileski's article on, Michael is back to throwing and hitting. "Brantley is doing baseball activities," the skipper disclosed. "he's not been given the go-ahead to run yet. ...because he is able to do baseball stuff, when he is able to run, it will come quick, hopefully."

in addition, from a video on FOX Sports Ohio's youtube channel, Knott relayed that he saw Michael in the clubhouse without a boot on.

here's a picture of Michael in the dugout before the game versus the Red Sox:

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer

and here's a picture of Michael with Josh Tomlin, who's on the disabled list as well, during the game:

photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

August 22: from Bastian's Pregame Minutiae blog on, Francona had the latest on Michael: "he's not running yet. when he starts running, i'll let you know. that's the last thing to come and we're not there yet."

August 23: more of the same from Tito in Bastian's blog. "he's doing baseball activities, but he's just not ready to resume running. it's just got to heal. i know he's wanting--if wanting to is going to help, you know--but you've just got to wait until it heals. i know he's biting it, frustrated and is wanting to play, but we've got to let that thing heal."

August 24: when asked to give an update on Abraham Almonte during his pregame presser, Francona also volunteered, "there's really no change" re: Michael in a video on the youtube channel.

August 26: Lonnie Soloff, Indians Senior Director of Medical Service, shed some light on why there's no specific timetable for an injury such as Michael's in Hoynsie's article on "the rehab process has involved finding a balance between how the player feels and how much time he needs to recover under ideal circumstances. if a player needs eight to 10 weeks to recover, but is feeling close to 100 percent after four or five weeks, and the training staff feels they can keep him on the field with a flare-up here or there, that's where the balancing act comes into play."

August 27: in Terry Pluto's Terry's Talkin' article on, he wrote, "it sounds as if he'll be out at least a few more weeks."

here's a picture of Michael clapping in the dugout with Jay "Bruuuce" Bruce and Boone "Booner" Logan after Francisco Lindor hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning in the game versus the Twins:

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer

later during the radio broadcast, Hammy continued with the "Michael's still a ways off" declaration.

August 28: amid the game against the New York Yankees, Hammy echoed his Michael's "still a ways away" notification.

also, Bastian's article included a tiny blurb that Michael has not yet been cleared to begin the running portion of his rehab.

August 30: during Game 1 of the straight doubleheader against the Yankees, Hammy repeated the "still a ways away" status update for Michael.

in Hoynsie's late night article, a sentence conceded that, per Francona, Michael has not started to run yet.

August 31: on the Indians' off day, when someone inquired about a Michael ankle update from Bastian on twitter, he replied with "every time we've asked in the past week, it's been [the] same update: doing some baseball activities, but hasn't advanced to running yet."

so far Michael has missed 22 games between August 9-30.

WHAT'S NEXT: prior to coming off the DL in June, Michael ran on the treadmill before progressing to doing running drills in the outfield. only after that was he permitted to run the bases for his final test of the ankle's durability. i assume that will be the plan again when he receives clearance from the medical staff to begin running. as for keeping sharp with his bat last time, he hit off a pitching machine and cranked the velocity to Major League speed. i expect the same now, with the velo turned up as high as it can go (especially if he's unable to play in any minor league games and that's the lone way for him to freshen up his skills at the plate).

MY THOUGHTS: riddle me this... if Hammy keeps saying Michael is a ways away, and Pluto heard he's gonna be out for at least a couple more weeks, then even though they're telling us there's no timetable, they obviously have some more specific details about Michael's ankle and rehab plans than they're willing to release to the public. clearly.πŸ’‘

in any case, due to having been out for so long now, Michael will need to go on a minor league rehab assignment, unlike his previous, much shorter, DL stint this year. but the thing is, by the time he's ready to start playing in games, the minor league teams' seasons will be over. all of them end on September 4 except the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, who play through September 7. (the Lynchburg Hillcats have playoff games between September 8-10 and potentially September 12 and 13, but i don't think they would have Michael do rehab in that scenario, would they?🀷) so Michael's gonna have to be cleared fairly quickly into September in order to get his reps in and try to find his timing again at the lower levels before being "thrown into the fire" to face tough pitching in the majors.πŸ˜• if he does not get the opportunity to play in the minors, his performance with the Tribe will surely take a hit when he first comes back as he gets re-acclimated to big league pitching. good thing he's got that smooth, compact swing though, which should help cut down on the "degree of difficulty."🀞

what do you think? will Michael end up doing more harm than good when he rejoins the team next month, and will he be able to get himself ready for the playoffs in time? i'd love to hear your thoughts in a comment!

BOP 3 for Six

for the fifth straight month, Michael bat 3rd in every game he played in (six). early on when Jason Kipnis was on the 10-Day DL, Bradley Zimmer and Francisco Lindor bat 1 and 2 against right-handed starters, while Lindor and Brandon Guyer were 1 and 2 against lefties. then on August 6, when Kip was activated from the disabled list, he was leading off again with Lindor behind him.

as for the guys batting after Michael, Jose Ramirez remained batting cleanup, Edwin Encarnacion hit 5th, and Carlos Santana was 6th.

Michael reached base a total of 8 times via hits, walks, and fielding errors this month. he scored 5 runs in August, one of which came from his own home run. therefore, he was driven in 4 times versus left stranded 3 times by his teammates behind him. this is not a good month to measure how the guys following Michael in the order performed after he got on base simply because he hardly even played himself. be that as it may, i am happy to see he scored more than half of the times he got on base.

note: once Michael re-injured his right ankle and was out of commission, Lindor led off and Kip bat 2nd (with the exception of two games where the order was flipped) until Kip went back on the disabled list with another right hamstring strain. now the top of the order is typically Lindor and Austin Jackson at 1 and 2. Ramirez, like in June, has taken Michael's place in the 3 hole, Encarnacion's batting cleanup, and Jay Bruce began hitting in the 5th spot as soon as he was acquired and inserted into the starting lineup. it will be very interesting to see if Michael reclaims his 3rd spot in the batting order next month; i honestly wouldn't be surprised though if he doesn't.😟

what do you think of the lineup now and should Michael go back to hitting 3rd when he's ready to play in September? sound off in the comments!

Areas Of Concern

i don't think i can fairly analyze Michael's August numbers when he played so little, but i will say his RHP, road, and 2-out situational hitting were subpar.

my major area of concern right now is that right ankle of his and if it's going to heal before the end of the year. i don't understand how this can be considered a mild sprain, like his other two this season, if he's already been out for three+ weeks and is probably going to be out for another one to two. that sounds much more serious than his May sprain and June sprain, which he missed a combined 10 games with. here's hoping he can get the ankle strong enough to survive the end of September and the October playoffs.🀞

if you have any concerns, let me hear 'em! leave a comment!

August Team Batting Winner

like in June, Michael did not attain enough plate appearances in his mere six games played to be a qualifying player this month. he finished August with 0.8 PA per game, far below the required 3.1. consequently, his .286 batting average cannot be ranked among the rest of the qualifiers.

actually, there weren't many qualifiers this month, nor were there many high averages. in fact, the player who had the highest August batting average out of all the qualifiers on the team was Carlos Santana with his .284 BA. he takes the win for the second straight month. the next closest average was .271, owned by Francisco Lindor.

previous monthly batting average winners:
April - Jose Ramirez (.330)
May - Michael Brantley (.293)
June - Jose Ramirez (.367)
July - Carlos Santana (.325)

Team Leads & Career Highs

i think it's obvious that playing in a measly six games this month did not provide Michael with enough statistics to give him any team leads or career highs.

in August, Michael did not have any team leads and did not set any career highs for himself.

HR:RBI, LOB, K Rate, and Outs

despite missing a lot of games in August, Michael did hit one home run before he injured his ankle again. so that's something.

Michael totaled 3 RBI and left 7 men on base this month. it would have been nice if he could have gotten one more hit with someone on base or in scoring position so he would have potentially had an additional RBI and less runners stranded, but nobody knew that Michael was only going to have six games in August to try and rack up as many stats as possible.😞

now for the HR:RBI ratio. Michael's 1 home run was a solo shot. therefore, 33.3% of his 3 RBI in August came from his solo homer/all of his home runs.

Michael's K rate in August was 4.5% (1 K/22 PA). he struck out once every 22 plate appearances. this is far too few trips to the plate to really get excited about.

Michael had a total of 10 groundouts, 2 pop outs, 1 lineout, and 1 flyout in August. small sample size aside, he continues to get the barrel to the ball when making outs more than he strikes out. but his groundout to flyout ratio is still very lopsided.

Streaks & Situational Statistics

Michael had a hit in 4 of the 6 games he played in August and reached base safely in 5 games. he had 2 hitless games, but still reached base in 1 of those. Michael had 2 multi-hit games, no three+ hit games, and no multi-RBI games. he had at least one RBI in 3 games. he also had 2 go-ahead hits and 2 go-ahead RBI this month. the Indians were 3-3 in games that Michael played in and 16-6 in the games he missed.

Michael has an active 13-game on-base streak on the road between July 1 - August 1. it spans over July 1-2, July 14-19, July 28-29, and July 31 - August 1.

Michael has an active 9-game hitting streak on the road between July 15 - August 1. it spans over July 15-19, July 28-29, and July 31 - August 1.

Michael had an 8-game on-base streak between July 28 - August 6.

in August, Michael bat .182 (2-for-11) against right-handed pitchers and .400 (4-for-10) against left-handed pitchers. in limited play time, he certainly did very well against southpaws this month. his performance when facing righties, however, was the total opposite. had he played a full month though, i have a feeling that would have improved by a large margin.

Michael bat .313 (5-for-16) with 2 RBI in 5 of 13 games at home. he hit safely in 3 of the 5 home games he played in and safely got on base in 4 of them. he was hitless in 2 home games, but still reached base in 1.

Michael bat .200 (1-for-5) with 1 RBI in 1 of 15 games away from Progressive Field. he hit safely in the 1 road game he played in and safely reached base in it. he had 0 hitless road games in August.

Michael hit .333 (2-for-6) with runners in scoring position, producing 2 RBI in August. categorically, he hit .500 (1-for-2) with RISP and 0 outs and .250 (1-for-4) with RISP and 1 out. he did not come to bat at all with RISP and 2 outs. i'm grateful he got a couple hits with men in scoring position before he went down with his ankle sprain this month.

with 2 outs in an inning in August, Michael bat .167 (1-for-6). he had 1 home run, 1 RBI, and 1 walk. i'd like to think he would have put up some more/better numbers here if he'd had more 2-out opportunities, but with the way he has been struggling in these situations, that's not necessarily an easy thing to presume.

additionally, he hit .364 (4-for-11) with 2 RBI with runners on base and he did not come to bat at all with the bases loaded this month.

Michael also bat .200 (2-for-10) with the bases empty. he had 1 home run, 1 RBI, and 1 strikeout (looking).

furthermore, Michael had a 0.0 fWAR (wins above replacement), a 95 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus--the ability to create runs compared to the league average), and a 0.1 BsR (baserunning runs above average with stolen bases and caught stealings) in August. these numbers do not rank among the 16 qualifying American League left fielders because Michael did not play enough to be considered a qualifier this month. [these stats all came courtesy of]

Versus AL Central Division Teams

when the Indians played the Minnesota Twins, Michael missed all 3 road games in August because he was on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain, wearing a walking boot and still in the healing stages at this time. the Indians went 2-1 in the games he did not play in.

when the Indians played the Kansas City Royals, Michael missed all 6 games--3 on the road and 3 at home--in August. he missed all 3 games in the road series because he was still on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain, wearing a walking boot for most of the time, but doing some light baseball activities; and he missed all 3 games in the home series because he was still on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain, out of the boot, back throwing and hitting, but not cleared to resume running. the Indians went 5-1 in the games he did not play in.

the Indians did not face the Chicago White Sox or Detroit Tigers in August.

Interleague Play

in August, Michael played one of two games against one National League opponent, going 0-for-2 and batting .000 overall. i figured this would be another tough IL series, but i didn't think he'd get hurt during it.😒

vs. the Colorado Rockies at Progressive Field, Michael bat .000 (0-for-2) in 1 of the 2 home games in August. (he missed 1 game because he was just placed on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain.) the Indians won the game he played in and lost the game he did not play in. overall, he had 1 man left on base. furthermore, his OBP, SLG, and OPS were all .000. in the field, Michael played 4.1 innings in left, leaving early after he sprained his right ankle, and recorded 2 putouts. it was an unsatisfying short series, to say the least.

League Rankings

because Michael only played in six games this month, he did not acquire many stats and so, as a result, he did not have any Top 10 league rankings in August.

August Standout Games, Spotlights, & Quotes

Michael had a tough order right out the gate on August 1, having to face left-hander Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox. coming into the game, Michael was 6-for-33 (.182 average) lifetime against Sale with two doubles, three RBI, and 12 strikeouts.

before the contest, Michael described his game plan against Sale in a SportsTime Ohio twitter video. "battle, battle, and battle. he's one of the best pitchers in the game, it's not a secret. you see what he does every time he goes out. just try to put up a competitive at bat if you can, work some pitches, and try to put a ball in play as hard as you can."

he first came to bat in the top of the 1st inning with Francisco Lindor at 3rd base and Brandon Guyer at 1st. after a 3-1 count, Michael hit a ground ball RBI single to left field. Lindor scored, Guyer moved up to 2nd, and the Indians took a 1-0 lead. that quickly gave Michael his first go-ahead hit and go-ahead RBI of the month. it was also the first run given up by Sale since before the All Star Break, as cited by Jordan Bastian in his Covering the Bases blog on the pitch sequence went: foul 1st base side, pickoff attempt at 1st, ball, ball, ball, single. after two more batters, Michael scored on Carlos Santana's 2-run double.

on August 4, Michael got his first multi-hit game of the month versus the New York Yankees. a runner was on base in each of his four trips to the plate and he went 2-for-4. he got his first hit in the bottom of the 3rd inning when the Indians were up, 2-0, and Guyer was on 1st base. with the count even at 1, Michael hit a ground ball single to right field off lefty Jaime Garcia. Guyer was able to score after a throwing error by the Yankees' right fielder, Clint Frazier. Michael moved up to 2nd base on the error, advanced to 3rd on Jose Ramirez's groundout, and then scored a run on Edwin Encarnacion's sac fly to right-center field.

Michael's second hit took place in the bottom of the 5th inning with the Tribe leading, 4-1. his AB began with Guyer at 1st base again, but Guyer stole 2nd as Garcia's 1-0 pitch--a strike--was thrown to Michael. after a 2-1 count, Michael smacked a ground ball RBI single through the hole and into left field. the pitch sequence went: pickoff attempt at 1st, ball, called strike, ball, single.

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter
photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

once on base, Michael went to 2nd on a wild pitch during Ramirez's at bat, moved to 3rd on Ramirez's groundout, and scored his second run on a wild pitch during Encarnacion's at bat.

with 7 innings completed, the Indians were winning by a score of 6 to 1 and Michael was then given the rest of the game off after being subbed out defensively for the top of the 8th inning. when the game ended, he did a little postgame interview in the locker room with SportsTime Ohio's in-game reporter, Andre Knott.

"our starting pitchers [are] giving us a chance to win every single game. that's obviously the key. we're playing good team baseball, good fundamental baseball, and we got to continue to do it.

"we've been playing a lot of games. a lot of things happen, but it's one day at a time. we're going out there playing against a great team in the Yankees right now, and we got to continue to take it one day at a time in a long series and hopefully win the series."

for Michael's thoughts on Giovanny Urshela's abilities at the hot corner, watch the whole video on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel.

Michael hit his first homer of the month on August 6 in the game versus the Yankees. facing right-handed pitcher Luis Severino in the bottom of the 1st inning with 2 outs, Michael sent a 1-0 pitch to dead center field to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter
photos courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer
photos courtesy of @TJZuppe on twitter

as T.J. Zuppe's photos show, Severino threw that pitch in Michael's second highest exit velocity zone against righties this year. and MLBBarrelAlert tweeted Michael hit that 96.3 mph four-seamer a distance of 388 feet, at a launch angle of 34 degrees, 101.1 mph. it was his first extra base hit of August and home run #9 on the year for Dr. Smooth.

the bomb was Michael's sole hit of the day. he went 1-for-3 and was subbed out defensively after 7 innings because the Indians were getting blown out.

on August 17, while Michael was still on the 10-Day DL with his right ankle sprain, an article was posted on from Connor Mount depicting how Zimmer got his "Machine" nickname. it originated during Indians' spring training in 2014. Zimmer played in his debut Cactus League game with the Tribe and was hit by a pitch in the ribs in his first trip to the plate. after the game, the trainers examined him to see what the damage was, but there weren't any physical marks. that's when, according to Zimmer, Michael exclaimed, "this guy's a machine!" now everyone calls him "Machine." you're welcome, Bradley lolπŸ˜‰

speaking of nicknames, MLB's Players Weekend took place between August 25-27. that's when players throughout baseball got to wear special Little League-type uniforms featuring nicknames of their choosing on the backs of their jerseys. they also sported patches on the right sleeve with the name or names of those who helped them get to the majors. it was a let down that Michael could not show off his special jersey because his stint on the disabled list was ongoing at this time. (doesn't it seem like whenever the Indians get to wear unique or throwback unis, Michael is always out hurt and can't play/wear them?😞) nonetheless, i managed to get the deets on what his jersey would have looked like.

photos courtesy of
photo courtesy of Brittney Zivcsak via MLB Photos

we all know that Michael has long been trademarked as "Dr. Smooth" thanks to Dennis Manoloff, who bestowed the moniker upon him back in 2012. and luckily, Zivcsak's photo uncovered that Michael's tribute patch was going to recognize his mom and dad, Nina and Mickey.

what we didn't get to see were the special socks, cleats, and batting gloves he picked out. besides that, we missed out on the exclusive bat Michael chose and what color and design it was customized with. i'm sure he gets to keep those things, but it's too bad no one outside the clubhouse ever saw them.πŸ™

after Mike Clevinger pitched on August 26 in the game versus the Kansas City Royals, he mentioned that his nickname, "Sunshine," also came courtesy of Dr. Smooth. "in my first big league camp here, Michael Brantley gave me that nickname," Clevinger specified in Paul Hoynes' article on "then Tommy Hunter would not stop calling me it. Tony (Amato clubhouse manager) kept calling me it and it just stuck." the name was taken from the Remember the Titans movie because that's what the long-haired quarterback was called. Michael's so clever.😁

In The Field

in Michael's brief time in left field in August, he recorded 8 putouts in 8 total chances, yielding a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. i literally have nothing else to report here this month.

Lonnie Left Field/Effects of a Crowded Outfield

and since there's nothing of note for me to discuss in detail as far as defensive plays go, i might as well address how Lonnie Chisenhall is now going to play left field. when the Indians traded for Jay Bruce right after Michael re-sprained his ankle this month, the writing may have been on the wall for this move. Bruce is a natural right fielder, so he wasn't gonna change positions. that meant Chiz had to play somewhere else. with Michael out and the only thing clear about his timetable being that he would not be returning as soon as the 10-Day DL period was up, there was an opening in left. so Lonnie's going to take it and has already played a few rehab games there, as he's working to get back from the DL himself in the wake of his right calf strain. (that should be tomorrow, September 1.)

Terry Francona insists it's a good thing that Chiz asked to play different positions, according to Jordan Bastian's blog on but going forward, the whole "left fielder Lonnie" is definitely a concern of mine. if you have Chiz, and he ends up playing left field well enough, then maybe that makes it easier for the Indians to decline Michael's 2018 club option. $11 million (or $12 mill if he didn't already get his bonus money) is a lot of money to spend on an outfielder who hasn't been able to stay healthy in the last two seasons. in the offseason, i did put together a blog pondering, "Is This Michael Brantley's Final Year as a Cleveland Indian?" but i never considered the possibility that Lonnie Baseball might be the reason/replacement for him...

when Michael finally does rejoin the team, he could end up platooning in left now, with the excuse of "trying to save his ankle for the postseason" and he may lose out on playing time. should that occur, then i don't think we'll need to wait to find out the Tribe's decision about Michael's place of employment next year. keep your eyes peeled in September, that's all i'm saying. and when the playoffs come around, i don't know how Tito's gonna get the bats of Brantley, Bruce, and Chiz all in the lineup, especially if he wants Bradley Zimmer's defense in center...😡 he thinks it's a good problem to have, i disagree.😟

now let's break down the numbers. i am going to document his August #s and the 3rd spot #s, as well as the left field #s, 3rd + left field #s, and overall outfield #s.

August batting average: .286

OBP: .318

SLG: .429

OPS: .747

Michael played in 6 (of 28) games, 3 complete, in August.

he started and played left field in 6 games, completing 3 of those games, appearing in 6 total.

he was subbed out defensively in 2 games after playing a total of 14 innings; 1 game after 7 innings because the Indians were winning a blowout and he had done more than enough in the game, and 1 game after 7 innings because the Indians were losing a blowout.

he left 1 game early with a sprained right ankle after playing 4.1 innings.

he missed 22 games while he was on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain.

Michael bat 3rd in 6 games.

Michael played left field in 6 games. (3 complete, 2 subbed out: 14 innings, 1 left early with injury: 4.1 innings)

Michael played in 3 complete games.

in August, Michael had a total of 22 plate appearances and 21 at bats. here is how he fared:

6 hits

1 extra base hit

5 singles

1 home run


5 runs

1 walk


1 strikeout (looking)

2 first at bat hits

9 total bases

7 left on base

8 putouts

45.0 innings, 6 games

(3 complete games)

August batting average: .286 (6-21) (6 games)

now let's break down his numbers based on where he hit in the lineup.

when Michael bat 3rd in August, he had a total of 22 plate appearances and 21 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

6 hits

1 extra base hit

5 singles

1 home run


5 runs

1 walk


1 strikeout (looking)

2 first at bat hits

9 total bases

7 left on base

8 putouts

45.0 innings, 6 games

(3 complete games)

August batting average in the 3rd spot: .286 (6-21) (6 games)

when Michael bat 3rd and played left in August, he had a total of 22 plate appearances and 21 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

6 hits

1 extra base hit

5 singles

1 home run


5 runs

1 walk


1 strikeout (looking)

2 first at bat hits

9 total bases

7 left on base

8 putouts

45.0 innings, 6 games

(3 complete games)

August batting average in the 3rd spot while playing left: .286 (6-21) (6 games)

when Michael played the outfield in August, he had a total of 22 plate appearances and 21 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

6 hits

1 extra base hit

5 singles

1 home run


5 runs

1 walk


1 strikeout (looking)

2 first at bat hits

9 total bases

7 left on base

8 putouts

45.0 innings, 6 games

(3 complete games)

August batting average while playing the outfield: .286 (6-21) (6 games)

now let's break down his numbers specific to where he played in the outfield.

when Michael played left in August, he had a total of 22 plate appearances and 21 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

6 hits

1 extra base hit

5 singles

1 home run


5 runs

1 walk


1 strikeout (looking)

2 first at bat hits

9 total bases

7 left on base

8 putouts

45.0 innings, 6 games

(3 complete games)

August batting average while playing left: .286 (6-21) (6 games)

August #s while playing left: 8 putouts, 0 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (45.0 innings, 6 games)

August #s while playing the outfield: 8 putouts, 0 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (45.0 innings, 6 games)

now here are my game-by-game numbers and notes.

Game 1 of 1/Game 83 of 105, August 1: 1-5, RBI single (first at bat), run. AVG: .298

August 2: game postponed, to be made up August 14 at 6:10 pm.

Game 2 of 2/Game 84 of 106, August 3: 0-3, reached on fielding error (first at bat), run, walk. AVG: .295

Game 3 of 3/Game 85 of 107, August 4: 2-4, single, run, RBI single, run. AVG: .298

Game 4 of 4/Game 86 of 108, August 5: 2-4, single, single. AVG: .300

Game 5 of 5/Game 87 of 109, August 6: 1-3, home run (first at bat), run. AVG: .300

**Michael's 8-game on-base streak ends**

Game 6 of 6/Game 88 of 110, August 8: 0-2. AVG: .299

^^Michael left the game early during the top of the 5th inning after spraining his right ankle running to center field to back up Bradley Zimmer.^^

Game /7 & /111, August 9: placed on 10-Day DL with right ankle sprain.

Game /8 & /112, August 10: still on DL.

Game /9 & /113, August 11: still on DL.

Game /10 & /114, August 12: still on DL.

Game /11 & /115, August 13: still on DL.

Game /12 & /116, August 14: still on DL.

Game /13 & /117, August 15: still on DL.

August 16: game postponed, to be made up August 17 at 7:10 pm in day-night DH.

Game /14 & /118, August 17 (Day Game): still on DL.

Game /15 & /119, August 17 (Night Game): still on DL.

Game /16 & /120, August 18: still on DL.

Game /17 & /121, August 19: still on DL, doing light baseball activities.

Game /18 & /122, August 20: still on DL.

Game /19 & /123, August 21: still on DL, out of the walking boot, throwing and hitting.

Game /20 & /124, August 22: still on DL.

Game /21 & /125, August 23: still on DL, not ready to resume running, ankle still needs to heal.

Game /22 & /126, August 24: still on DL.

Game /23 & /127, August 25: still on DL.

Game /24 & /128, August 26: still on DL.

Game /25 & /129, August 27: still on DL.

Game /26 & /130, August 28: still on DL.

August 29: game postponed, to be made up August 30 at 1:05 pm in a traditional DH.

Game /27 & /131, August 30 (Game 1): still on DL.

Game /28 & /132, August 30 (Game 2): still on DL.

~~Michael ends the month with an active 13-game on-base streak on the road and 9-game hitting streak on the road~~

so far in 2017, Michael has 372 plate appearances and 335 at bats in 88 games (731.0 innings). in total, he has 100 hits, 30 extra base hits, 70 singles, 20 doubles, 1 triple, 9 home runs, 52 RBI, 4 sac flies, 47 runs, 31 walks, 3 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 11 stolen bases (9 - 2nd, 2 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (2nd), 8 GIDP, 50 strikeouts (40 swinging, 10 looking), 23 first at bat hits, 149 total bases, 135 left on base, 135 putouts, 8 assists, 1 error, and 1 double play.

2017 season batting average: .299 (100-335)

OBP: .358

SLG: .445

OPS: .802

for more details about Michael's 2017 #s so far, please refer to my Brantley's 2017 #s Through August blog.

i continue to tweet about Brantley on a regular basis, whether it's info regarding ankle updates, games, or interesting stories and fun facts. so be sure you're following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 to keep up with the latest news. and if you'd like to receive notifications every time i post a blog, you can sign up to be on my subscription list. just enter your email address in the box underneath the Blog Archive sidebar over on the upper right side of this page for alerts sent directly to your inbox when something new gets published!πŸ“§

last but not least, my new September/October polls are up under the About Me sidebar. have your say and vote for what Michael's September/October BA will be and what his overall average for the 2017 season will be. you can also make a guess as to how many HR and RBI he'll have, along with how many games the Tribe will win in the final month of the campaign and if they will win the AL Central Division!✔

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