Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Brantley's Cactus League 2018 Rehab #s and My Predictions

hi again, Brantley fans! welcome to my Part 2 blog of Michael Brantley's Cactus League 2018 Rehab information. i kept the emphasis in this one on the numbers, rather than detailed daily updates. here you will find statistics, number breakdowns, and game lines from Michael's rehab game appearances with the Cleveland Indians. in addition, there's a section at the bottom of this post containing some predictions i made about his 2018 regular season. if you're looking for all the specifics of Michael's running progressions and rehab game at bats and plate appearances from spring training, then you'll want to read my previous Part 1 blog: Brantley's Cactus League 2018 Rehab & Game Details. (should you be so inclined, may i recommend having both blogs open in two separate tabs to easily and conveniently compare the game line information with Michael's rehab details per date.๐Ÿ’)

note: i like to lead off my Cactus League #s post by reminding everyone that it can be quite difficult to get a "full" game experience during spring. what i mean by that is, when i do my in-season documentation, i have access to all the info i like/want during a game because i have my MLB Gameday open on the computer and Gameday audio subscription playing. in spring training, those are not always options/reliable. not every game has someone providing play-by-play and color commentary of the contest. when that happens, i'm stuck
just following along with the Gameday. that presents a problem, too, because most of the time, Gameday is either a few batters, a half inning, or a full inning behind. (and don't even get me started on how it never logs accurate pitch counts.) so when there's no audio available, that's very annoying and it's nearly impossible to get complete and satisfactory game details. this year, there were five Cactus League Indians games that did not have any audio and one that only had Spanish audio.๐Ÿ˜’

also, because Michael was once again rehabbing during spring, he played in extra simulated and minor league games. to my dismay, none of those games were announced ahead of time, they weren't documented live by reporters, and the information that came out of them from the media was extremely scarce. when players take part in games of this nature, i have zero avenues to personally get my own updates because Gameday/audio do not exist. i have to count on the people who cover the Tribe for news and, no offense, but they're simply not as meticulous as i am. consequently, i could not do statistical or BOP breakdowns for the simulated game and minor league games that Michael appeared in since i don't have much of the data that is required to do so.

this blog features an in-depth dissection of Michael's Cactus League game numbers only, with the format emulating that of a monthly blog (minus some sections). so if you're a long-time reader, then you already know the drill. if not, this will be a great example for you to start getting familiar with how i'm gonna be doing things around here this season!๐Ÿ˜‰

Cactus League Rehab Overview

Cactus League games commenced for the Indians fairly early this year on February 23 and concluded on March 27, adding up to 35 games over 33 days. Michael, for the third straight spring, was not on pace with the rest of his teammates because he was recovering from a major surgery. this time it was the offseason right ankle surgery from October 18, 2017, that held him back. the Indians went slow and steady with him during his rehab in spring. unfortunately, once he was cleared to play with the Indians, there just weren't enough games left for him to build up his endurance in order to carry a full workload of a starter. as a result, Michael was unable to break camp and will be starting the season on the 10-Day DL.

when the first official Cactus League game got underway, Michael was hitting unrestricted on the field in the batting cage, but was limited to running straight-ahead. on February 25, it was revealed that he had finally made progress with decelerating while running, something that apparently gave him difficulty, which was to be expected after this type of surgery. Michael advanced to running both forward and backward on February 28 before beginning lateral movements, aka cutting and turning, two days later on March 2.

outfield progressions came next for Dr. Smooth on March 6, where he took ground balls in either direction and right at him. the following day, Michael participated in a simulated game, going 2-for-4. after a minor bout of strep throat sent him home on March 8, he returned to the team on March 9 and continued rehabbing. at long last, he went through a baserunning workout and more outfield drills, taking fly balls off the bat, on March 11.

Michael played in his first minor league game on March 14. however, this news did not hit the interweb until after it had already occurred and there was almost no information provided from it. all i know for certain is he was the designated hitter and got two plate appearances, but no hits. it was particularly agitating how one of his last steps prior to joining the big league club on the field was not covered thoroughly.๐Ÿ’ฉ

on March 17, while a portion of the Indians went to Nevada for two days to partake in Las Vegas' Big League Weekend, Michael played in another minor league game at the Indians' complex--his second in four days. this one was an intrasquad affair between two of the Tribe's minor league teams that contained 3 innings total. after initially being reported that he was the DH again, i discovered that he actually played the outfield in this contest (yes, outfield was written and not left field๐Ÿค”) and went 2-for-2 with a home run. i presume it was a solo shot, giving him an automatic RBI and run scored as well. it's likely that his other hit was a mere single.

Michael played defense only for 4 innings in left field in a minor league game with the Tribe's Advanced A affiliate Lynchburg Hillcats on March 19. this was done as a final test before his Cactus League debut with the Indians, which came on March 21 in the game versus the Kansas City Royals!

in his first at bat of his first Cactus League game, Michael smoked a home run to deep right field off the tin roof of Goodyear Ballpark. he was carrying a 5-game hitting streak into the contest from last spring and the long ball quickly increased it to 6. the homer was his lone hit in three at bats. defensively, he tallied 5 innings as the left fielder. he got a day off before playing again in another Cactus League game on March 23, going 1-for-4 and totaling 7 innings in left field.

ahead of his next game with the Indians on March 25, Terry Francona told the media that Michael would be opening the 2018 season on the disabled list. Tito made it very clear that Michael hadn't suffered a setback, but the team saw no reason to push him yet when he'd barely played any innings in left field. it was a logical and sensible decision to ensure that when Michael comes back, he'll be set for the entire year. that said, it is sad that he will not be getting to spend his final Opening Day with Tribe as an active roster member.

in his third Cactus League game, Michael went 2-for-3 with two singles, one RBI, and one run while playing 5 innings in left. he did not play again after that, so that his DL date could be made retroactive before March 29 and allow him eligibility for activation in time for the Indians' Home Opener on April 6.

Michael missed 32 games of the Indians' 35. now that may seem like a ridiculous amount, but when you consider that there were four split-squad days built into the spring schedule, you realize he couldn't possibly have played more than 31 games total. besides that, no player plays in every Cactus League game, so even though he did miss a lot of contests, he didn't miss nearly as many as it looks.

in his three Major League spring games, Michael bat .400 (4-for-10) with one extra base hit (a home run), two RBI, and two runs scored. he had at least one hit in every game he played in, ending his 2018 spring on a 3-game hitting streak. upon deeper examination, he's also got an active 8-game spring hitting streak that goes back to March 25, 2017. it originated over March 25-26 and March 28-30, 2017, and now extends through March 21, 23, and 25 of this year. if he gets a hit in his first Cactus League game of 2019, with whichever team he's playing for then, his streak will continue.

and that wraps up Michael's spring--his final spring with the Tribe. ugh, i can't get over it!๐Ÿ˜ญ

what are you looking forward to seeing in Michael's last year as an Indian? leave me a comment below!

Michael's BOP Demotion

during spring, players will find themselves in atypical BOPs in order to get the reps that they need. you'll commonly see guys leading off who aren't necessarily leadoff men and other, lower-third of the order guys batting at the top as well. it happens every year and is normal. in regard to Michael's BOP in spring, aka his "new" BOP for the year, i didn't understand it. they couldn't even bother to bump him up for the sole purpose of getting more ABs in preparation for the upcoming season. i am infuriated. let's go.

no matter what changes were made in the batting order throughout the course of a season, the one player who's had a locked spot since May 2014 was Michael. (okay, there was the exception of his very short-lived 2016 campaign where he bat 4th for nine games. but had he remained healthy, i think his BOP would have changed back to 3rd eventually because he'd made it known then that he would rather be hitting 3rd.) he bat 3rd all last year up until his August 9 DL stint and was extremely productive. he never had a major dip while hitting 3rd ever and it's his best career BOP. this shouldn't have been up for debate. regrettably, Michael will not be slotted back into his home in 2018 because when Jose Ramirez substituted for him while he was out, not only last season but also in 2016, Terry Francona developed a liking of Josey there more than Michael. wow. sorry, but i don't feel the same.

i've been fighting for Brant since 2009 and if you thought i didn't have any fight left, you're wrong. Michael has now been "demoted" to batting 4th and 5th in the lineup for 2018. he hasn't bat 4th in a Major League game since May 9, 2016, and he hasn't bat 5th since April 29, 2014! what on earth? if it ain't broke, don't fix it, Tito. Michael is a good hitter, but he's not a cleanup hitter. in fact, out of all the places he's bat in the order where he's totaled at least 170 at bats in his career, he has the worst numbers in the cleanup spot. if he has to bat there regularly, that could put more pressure on him to perform well, and if he doesn't, then fans are going get vocal once again with their complaints that Michael shouldn't have been brought back in the first place.๐Ÿ˜ฆ

photo cropped from sports.yahoo.com

this lineup downgrade will assuredly have a direct impact on Michael's numbers, most notably his RBIs because i don't think the number of guys on base ahead of him will be as plentiful if he bats in the 4 and 5 holes. and now there will be many instances where he won't be coming to bat in the 1st inning anymore either. Michael has earned that 3rd spot since 2014 and there's no reason he shouldn't still be batting there. lesson learned to ballplayers, i guess: if you get hurt, you're probably getting dumped in the lineup.๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ–•

i don't think this is any way to treat someone like Michael. this is a guy whose $12 million club option you picked up, a guy who's a team leader and 10-year veteran, who has more seniority, and who's playing his final year with your team. what a shit move. and it's somewhat confusing. how come Jason Kipnis, who was out hurt just as much last year, is back batting in the top this season, but Michael is the one getting dropped? and why do you want your two switch hitters batting 1st and 3rd in your order with nobody available to turn around at the plate further down? i don't get this.

it frustrates me even more because it's not as though Michael all the sudden stopped hitting in the 3 hole and they needed someone else to replace him. remember the days of Nick Swisher, when he was struggling hard, but Tito remained loyal to him? where's that loyalty now to Michael, the so-called "heart and soul of the team," as the skipper has referred to him numerous times? a lot of guys in the lineup are streaky hitters, that's fact. Michael is not. he's the most consistent hitter we have and he should be batting in that 1st inning, every game, guaranteed.

so much for wanting Ramirez behind Edwin Encarnacion to protect him in the lineup. so much for earning your stripes and having a track record. i can't believe Francona did this, especially after he harped on Michael batting 3rd and playing left early in camp. it's all very reminiscent of the old days, when Brant constantly had to take a backseat as the center fielder to Grady Sizemore and then Michael Bourn and how he also got displaced from leading off. Ramirez does not have the reputation that those guys did and to be honest, who knows what kind of player he'd even be right now if Michael hadn't ever gotten hurt. the Indians are practically pushing Michael out the damn door and into free agency. sigh. i don't think this "demotion" is a fair way for him to go out and all i can do is hope that later in the campaign, he will be moved back up to 3rd where i know he belongs.

how do you think this BOP change will affect Michael's ability at the plate? leave any concerns you may have in the comment section.

reminder note: Michael's numbers from his one simulated game and three minor league spring games are not included in the following statistical sections because i was unable to attain the specific situational hitting categories from those contests. besides that, those numbers are not part of Major League spring calculations anyway. ergo, only Michael's total stats from his Cactus League games with the Tribe are documented here and in my breakdowns.

Cactus League Team Batting Winner

i think it's obvious that Michael did not acquire enough plate appearances during Cactus League play in order to be considered a qualifier. for spring training, the prerequisite is at least 1.86 PA per team game played. Michael totaled 0.29, and so his .400 spring batting average cannot be ranked among his teammates who did qualify.

at the end of spring, only two of all of the guys who played with the Indians were qualifiers. the player who had the highest Cactus League batting average out of all the qualifying players on the team was Jose Ramirez with his .273 BA. the next closest average was .231, owned by Francisco Lindor.

Team Leads

if you play a measly three games, your stats aren't going to compare to everyone else's.

in Cactus League play, Michael did not have any team leads.

HR:RBI, LOB, K Rate, and Outs

Michael hit one home run in his big league rehab games with the Tribe, which occurred in his very first Cactus League at bat of the spring. that was certainly nice to see. the Indians' home run leader in spring was Yonder Alonso with 7. Jason Kipnis hit 6 homers, while Francisco Lindor and Roberto Perez both had 5.

Michael totaled 2 RBI while leaving 4 men on base in spring. it's such a small three-game sample size that you can't make much of this either way. Yan Gomes led the team in Cactus League ribbies with 15. Alonso was a close second with 14 and Perez had 13.

the HR:RBI ratio for Michael's Cactus League rehab is pretty simple because Michael's one home run was a solo shot. therefore, 50% of his 2 RBI came from his one home run.

Michael's K rate in his Cactus League rehab games was 20.0% (2 K/10 PA). he struck out once every 5 plate appearances. again, since he didn't get the typical amount of reps, this looks bad. but i don't anticipate him striking out at such a high rate like this during the year.

strikeouts aside, Michael's other non-hits resulted in 2 groundouts, 1 flyout, and 1 pop out. irrespective of the circumstances, he generally accumulates the majority of his outs by making contact with the ball. some things never change.

Reached Base vs. Left Stranded

in Cactus League rehab, Michael reached base a total of 4 times via hits only. he scored 2 total runs, one of which he obtained himself from the homer that he hit. he was driven in by others just once and left stranded 2 times. now that his BOP has changed, Michael will be relying on guys like Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso, and Lonnie Chisenhall to bring him home after he gets on base. i hope they have better luck with that this year because Michael was left on base quite a bit in 2017.

Cactus League Situational Statistics

Michael had a hit in all 3 of the 3 games he played in his Cactus League rehab and reached base safely in all 3 games. he had no hitless games. Michael had 1 multi-hit game, no three+ hit games, and no multi-RBI games. he had at least one RBI in 2 games. he did not have any go-ahead hits or go-ahead RBI. the Indians were 2-1 in games that Michael played in and 17-12-3 in the games he missed/sat out.

additionally, Michael ended his Cactus League rehab this year on a 3-game hitting streak. couple that with his 5-game hitting streak from last spring, and he's got an 8-game Cactus League hitting streak. during this streak, he bat .407 (11-for-27) with 11 hits, 5 for extra bases, and 22 total bases. he had 6 singles, 2 doubles, 3 home runs, 6 RBI, 5 runs, 1 walk, 1 hit by pitch, 2 GIDP, 5 strikeouts (3 swinging, 2 looking), and 4 first at bat hits while leaving 9 men on base in 29 plate appearances and 27 at bats.

in Cactus League play, Michael bat .429 (3-for-7) against right-handed pitchers and .333 (1-for-3) against left-handed pitchers.

Michael bat .400 (4-for-10) with 2 RBI in 3 of 15 games at home in Goodyear Ballpark in spring. he hit safely in all 3 of the home games he played in and safely got on base in all 3 of them as well. he finished spring on a 3-game home hitting streak this year and 4-game home hitting streak overall, spanning all the way back to March 25, 2017.

Michael did not play in any of the 20 games on the road in Cactus League play this year. however, he did conclude his previous spring with a 5-game road hitting streak, dating back to March 22, 2017, and safely reached base in all 5 of those games as well.

Michael hit .333 (1-for-3) with runners in scoring position, producing 1 RBI in Cactus League play. categorically, he hit 1.000 (1-for-1) with RISP and 0 outs, .000 (0-for-1) with RISP and 1 out, and .000 (0-for-1) with RISP and 2 outs.

with 2 outs in an inning, Michael bat .500 (2-for-4) this spring, hitting 2 singles.

furthermore, he bat .333 (2-for-6) with 1 RBI with runners on base and .500 (2-for-4) with 1 RBI with the bases empty. he did not come to bat at all with the bases loaded during his Cactus League games.

In The Field

Michael played a total of 17 innings in left field in three Cactus League rehab games. he had two putouts, no assists, and no errors, yielding him a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

specifically, Michael played two 5-inning games in left and one 7-inning game there. that's partially why he and the Indians felt it would be best for him to play in more games before starting his regular season, so he could build up his endurance and get used to playing full/back-to-back games in the field.

other than that, there's not much else to say about his spring defense. he made some simple catches, ran after the ball without issue, and threw the ball in quickly with ease a couple times to the cutoff man.

normally, this is where i would provide a quick breakdown of Brantley's Minor League Spring Rehab Game #s. my apologies, but i can't do that this year because there were barely any details provided to me other than he played in three Minor League Rehab Games. so since i don't have all the results of his ABs, i have no other choice than to skip it.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘Ž but here is what i do know for sure:

some of Brantley's Minor League Spring Rehab Game #s included:

4 plate appearances

3 total games

2 hits

1 extra base hit

1 single

1 home run


1 run

5 total bases

6-7 innings

1 game as a DH

2 games as an OF

**these numbers are not complete and are different depending on if he was the DH or LF in his games. aside from that, his BOPs (which i don't even know, btw) were not the same for each PA because in minor league games, rehabbing Major Leaguers are allowed to hit in any inning/consecutive innings if they want and don't have one set BOP all game.

now let's break down the numbers. i am going to document his Cactus League Rehab Game #s, the 4th spot #s, and the 5th spot #s, as well as the left field #s, BOP + left field #s, and overall outfield #s.

Cactus League 2018 Rehab batting average: .400

OBP: .400

SLG: .700

OPS: 1.100

Michael played in 3 (of 35*) Cactus League games, 0 complete, in spring training.

he started and played left field in 3 games, completing none, appearing in 3 total.

he was subbed out defensively in 3 games after playing a total of 17 innings (5 innings/7 innings/5 innings per game) while still trying to build up the volume of his rehab.

he missed 28 games due to rehabbing.

he got 4 scheduled days off.

Michael bat 5th in 1 game.

Michael bat 4th in 2 games.

Michael played left field in 3 games. (0 complete, 3 subbed out: 17 innings)

Michael played in 0 complete games.

*on four days in spring there was a split-squad, where the team played two games in two separate ballparks. clearly, Michael could not play in both games on those dates, so if you wanna get technical, the maximum number of spring games he could have played in was 31 (of the 35).

in Cactus League Rehab, Michael had a total of 10 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. here is how he fared:

4 hits

1 extra base hit

3 singles

1 home run


2 runs

2 strikeouts looking

2 first at bat hits

7 total bases

4 left on base

2 putouts

17 innings, 3 games

(0 complete games)

Cactus League Rehab batting average: .400 (4-10) (3 games)

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

when Michael bat 4th in Cactus League Rehab, he had a total of 7 plate appearances and 7 at bats in 2 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

3 hits

3 singles


1 run

1 strikeout looking

1 first at bat hit

3 total bases

2 left on base

1 putout

12 innings, 2 games

(0 complete games)

Cactus League Rehab batting average in the 4th spot: .429 (3-7) (2 games)
Cactus League Rehab batting average in the 4th spot while playing left: .429 (3-7) (2 games)

when Michael bat 5th in Cactus League Rehab, he had a total of 3 plate appearances and 3 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

1 hit

1 extra base hit

1 home run


1 run

1 strikeout looking

1 first at bat hit

4 total bases

2 left on base

1 putout

5 innings, 1 game

(0 complete games)

Cactus League Rehab batting average in the 5th spot: .333 (1-3) (1 game)
Cactus League Rehab batting average in the 5th spot while playing left: .333 (1-3) (1 game)

when Michael played the outfield in Cactus League Rehab, he had a total of 10 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

4 hits

1 extra base hit

3 singles

1 home run


2 runs

2 strikeouts looking

2 first at bat hits

7 total bases

4 left on base

2 putouts

17 innings, 3 games

(0 complete games)

Cactus League Rehab batting average while playing the outfield: .400 (4-10) (3 games)

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

when Michael played left in Cactus League Rehab, he had a total of 10 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

4 hits

1 extra base hit

3 singles

1 home run


2 runs

2 strikeouts looking

2 first at bat hits

7 total bases

4 left on base

2 putouts

17 innings, 3 games

(0 complete games)

Cactus League Rehab batting average while playing left: .400 (4-10) (3 games)

overall Cactus League Rehab #s while playing left/outfield: 2 putouts, 0 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (17 innings, 3 games)

now here are my daily game-by-game notes and numbers for Brantley's Cactus League 2018 Rehab Games. this part of the blog consists of his game lines only. to see all his daily running progressions, detailed game information, pictures, and quotes, read my separate blog post: Brantley's Cactus League 2018 Rehab & Game Details.

note: Michael missed the first 28 games of spring because he was still rehabbing and not cleared to play in any Cactus League games yet. i wrote "still rehabbing" next to each day he did not play with the Indians and provided a quick update of what phase he was at during his rehab if applicable.

Game /1, February 23: still rehabbing, hitting without restrictions and running straight-ahead.

Game /2, February 24: still rehabbing.

Game /3, February 25: still rehabbing, made progress with decelerating.

Game /4, February 26: still rehabbing.

Game /5, February 27: still rehabbing.

Game /7 , February 28 (split-squad): still rehabbing, running forward and backward.

Game /8, March 1: still rehabbing.

Game /9, March 2: still rehabbing, first day of defensive agility drills and lateral movement including turns and cuts.

Game /10, March 3: still rehabbing.

Game /11, March 4: still rehabbing.

Game /12, March 5: still rehabbing.

Game /13, March 6: still rehabbing, started outfield progression, taking ground balls in either direction and right at him.

Game /14, March 7: still rehabbing, went 2-for-4 in 4 plate appearances in a simulated game.

Game /15, March 8: sent home with strep throat.

Game /16, March 9: still rehabbing, back with the team.

Game /17, March 10: still rehabbing.

Game /19, March 11 (split-squad): still rehabbing, baserunning workout, took fly balls off the bat in the outfield.

Game /20, March 12: still rehabbing.

**this is when Michael began playing in games with the minor league players. until he plays with the Indians in a Cactus League game, he won't have any stats that count for spring training 2018. as for how Michael performed in these games, i could only document what was publicized online by reporters because there is no such thing as a minor league Gameday to track pitches and no option to listen to audio in spring.**

Game /21, March 14: no hits reported (0-2?). AVG: .000

^^he played in a minor league game, but i don't know with what team.^^

Game /22, March 15: still rehabbing.

Game /23, March 16: still rehabbing.

Game /25, March 17 (split-squad): 2-for-2, home run, run, single. AVG: .500

^^he played in a minor league intrasquad game.^^

Game /27, March 18 (split-squad): still rehabbing.

Game /28, March 19: N/A. AVG: .500

^^he played defense only in a minor league game with the Single A Lynchburg Hillcats.^^

**this is when Michael began playing in Cactus League games with the Indians.**

Game 1/29, March 21: 1-3, home run (first at bat), run. AVG: .333

Game /30, March 22: scheduled day off.

Game 2/31, March 23: 1-4, single. AVG: .286

Game /32, March 24: scheduled day off.

Game 3/33, March 25: 2-3, single (first at bat), run, RBI single. AVG: .400

^^Indians announce Michael will open the season on the 10-Day DL.^^

Game /34, March 26: did not play.

Game /35, March 27: did not play.

**Michael ends his Cactus League rehab with a 3-game hitting streak**

**Michael currently has an 8-game Cactus League hitting streak, dating back to March 25, 2017; a 4-game home hitting streak dating back to March 25, 2017; and a 5-game road hitting streak dating back to March 22, 2017**

My Predictions/Expectations for Michael Brantley's 2018 Season

note: Michael is not expected to miss more than the first week or two of the season, so i made the executive decision to do my predictions now, ahead of his DL activation.

for the third straight year, i am basing my predictions on the assumption that Michael, once he returns, will be healthy for the season and not experience further ailments that hold him out of games for significant periods of time. admittedly, i did take into account that Michael is going to be given extra off days in 2018, so as not to push his ankle too hard and potentially cause another flare and/or sprain. therefore, i did not go overboard with my individual guesses in most statistical categories. i'm also not putting any expectations on Michael to set career highs (though it's certainly possible he could if his ankle is fully healed and nothing else goes wrong) since i'm figuring that he won't be getting as many at bats as most of the other regular starting players in the lineup. as long as Michael can stay relatively healthy and play in a large portion of games, i'll think his final numbers will end up more than fine.๐Ÿ‘Œ

Games Played:

again, i believe the Indians are going to err on the side of caution and give Michael some games off that the other regulars are not getting, especially early on in the season. either that, or instead of starting every game, he might simply come in late as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement on some occasions. regardless, this year i'm predicting 135 games played in 2018.

Batting Average:

i used to go into lengthy explanations when it came to gauging what his final BA will be, but i don't think i need to do that anymore. as we have seen, when Michael is healthy, he's a .300 hitter AT LEAST. so i can't put anything under a .300 batting average here. and honestly, if he does play the 135 games i presumed, his average should be higher than that.

bonus prediction: will Michael be a qualifier for the first time since 2015? i'm going with yes. (i love to remind people that Michael had the highest batting average on the team when he qualified from 2012-2015. and i'd love to see him wrap up his time with the Tribe with the highest BA on the team once more.๐Ÿ˜‰)

Home Runs:

last year, Michael's power came and then disappeared for a while before seemingly coming back fast and furious. he's never been a guy who's going to hit 30 bombs every year, and he's never needed to be because he's such a consistent and productive overall hitter. i'll go minimal here and say Michael hits 14 home runs this season.


i really thought long and hard about this one and i am a bit surprised by my result. with Terry Francona now relegating Michael to the 4th and 5th spots, i had to curtail my guess to 55 RBI in 2018.๐Ÿ˜ฒ ouch. that's not because i see Michael struggling there, but because i can't see the bases being full for Michael much anymore. here's hoping i am very wrong, but i fear i'm right. (should Michael reclaim his 3 BOP, then that number could easily jump up to 75-80. just wanna put that on record.)

Other Numbers

other numbers i predict for Michael in 2018 are:

hits: 140

doubles: 38

runs: 58
(this is always the hardest stat to predict--even more so if he does bat lower in the order--because we don't know how the guys behind him will perform. and last year, Michael was left stranded an AWFUL lot.๐Ÿ˜•)

walks: 40

stolen bases: 16

total defensive errors: 1

outfield assists: 10

if you know me and my predictions, then you know i don't bother to include triples here because, while they are impressive when they occur, i think they are among the least important statistic to be concerned with. if he manages to hit a few, great, but triples don't make or break a baseball player, so i'm not worried about Michael hitting any.

what are your personal predictions for Michael in 2018? leave them on record in a comment below!๐Ÿ’ป

in addition, you can vote in my new polls to document how you think Michael will perform in March/April! how many home runs and RBI will he accumulate and what will his batting average be? i've got some general Tribe polls up as well! they're all under the About Me sidebar on the upper right side of the page! check 'em out!๐Ÿ—น

so that's it! Michael's last spring training with the Indians has come to a close. wow, that's tough to accept.๐Ÿ˜Ÿ at this time, Michael is set to hang back in Arizona and play in some games with the minor leaguers to build up his endurance. i'll definitely be looking for all those rehab game details and tweeting everything i find out, along with updates on when he might be activated from the DL. so make sure you're following me @clevelandgirl23 for that. of course, i'll also be tweeting news and updates about Michael all year long when he returns.

likewise, you might want to follow me on twitter this year to see some amazing moments from Michael's past! i've already started a little bit of my #CelebratingMichaelBrantley series, where i'm going to be remembering all the times Michael excelled and displayed outstanding performances during his career with the Tribe. this will begin regularly on April 2 and continue every Monday throughout the season. there could also be a couple non-Mondays where i post special highlights, too.๐Ÿ˜‰ go ahead and search the hashtag for the homage, and don't hesitate to contribute your own favorite Michael memories either because i'd love to see them!๐ŸŽ‰

if you're new or not subscribed yet, you can sign up for my blog subscription list as well. in doing so, you will receive alerts sent directly to your inbox each time i publish a new post. just enter your email address in the box underneath the Blog Archive sidebar over on the upper right side of this page and then you'll be part of the notification squad!๐Ÿ“ง

thank you all so much for taking the time to read this and/or my analogous Part 1 blog!
Brantley's Cactus League 2018 Rehab & Game Details

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