Thursday, February 22, 2018

Brantley News & Ankle Updates from February 2018 (Pre-Spring Games)

play ball! the Cleveland Indians will do just that tomorrow when their first Cactus League game officially gets underway. well, most of the Indians, that is. stop me if you've heard this before--Michael Brantley is not quite ready to play in spring games yet. once again, the Tribe is being cautious with the left fielder's rehab, this time from right ankle surgery, and going slow with his running program. he's currently a little over four months removed from the procedure he had done in the offseason on October 18, 2017, to stabilize the ligaments.

like last year, i decided to give you guys all the February updates that i've come across prior to game action. after months of not getting any satisfying information about Michael's status, this blog contains details on where Michael is in his recovery, what he's allowed to do activity-wise, and a tentative plan for progression in the next couple weeks. there are also plenty of quotes, pictures, and links to videos, as well as an interview that Michael did with himself!😀

if you've missed any news since Michael had his surgery, i've got you. here are all the previous blogs i've written with updates between October 19, 2017, and January 27, 2018:
Brantley Undergoes Right Ankle Surgery, Recovery Will Take 4-5 Months
Brantley News from October 2017
Brantley News from November 2017 & Why He Shouldn't

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brantley Not Ranked in MLB Network's Top 100 Players Right Now

happy pitchers and catchers report day, Tribe fans! spring training is here and Cactus League games begin in just nine days! so what better time for MLB Network's Top 100 Players Right Now? the three-day countdown features hosts Greg Amsinger, Bill Ripken, and Ron Darling, as per usual. in six one-hour episodes between February 14-16, the Top 100 Players currently in Major League Baseball going into the 2018 season are being unveiled. this year's reveal is coming in 20-player increments in the first four installments, followed by the Top 20 in the final two shows, with the Top 10 broadcast airing live.

photo courtesy of @MLBNetworkPR

this Top 100 list is compiled by

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I'll Stand By You, Chief Wahoo

by now you've all heard the news that the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo will be no more come 2019. i can't say i'm surprised because yes, i did know this was going to happen eventually. but getting word of the actual "expiration date" and learning that 2018 will officially be the final year that we see the Chief on the Tribe's hats and jersey sleeves is certainly a tough pill to swallow.

photo courtesy of

i wanted to wait a little bit after the announcement on January 29 before compiling yet another blog with my reactions, thoughts, and support of the Chief. i needed to cool down; otherwise, this post would have been laced with

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Brantley News & Ankle Updates from January 2018

hi, Brantley fans! let me cut right to the chase. January was another slow news month as far as information about Michael's rehab from right ankle surgery goes. he is now over three months into his recovery, but we haven't gotten any insight as to where he is in the process and what type of baseball activities he's been doing thus far, if any. has he started to run on a treadmill yet? no clue. did he swing the bat at all during the offseason? couldn't tell ya. besides that, there's been no timetable put on Michael and it's currently unknown whether or not he'll be ready to open up the 2018 season with the Tribe.🤔

the consolation though is that we're definitely going to hear some detailed updates shortly because Michael is due to report to camp in just two and a half weeks (or possibly sooner)! so hang in there a little longer, #TeamBrantley. the countdown to February 18 is on!😃

meanwhile, if you've missed anything since Michael's surgery or need a refresher, here are my three previous news/update blogs:
Brantley News from October 2017
Brantley News from November 2017 & Why He Shouldn't Move to 1st Base
Brantley News & Ankle Updates from December 2017

now let's get to the January news and updates!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Brantley Not Ranked in MLB Network's Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now

hello, baseball fans! MLB Network is currently in Week 3 of the Top 10 Right Now series where the best players at each position around the diamond are ranked. the 8th annual program has been airing on Saturdays this year, differing from Sundays a year ago and Thursdays in 2016. tonight, on January 27, the "Top 10 Right Now: Left Fielders" show premiered at 9 pm ET.

screenshot cropped from a video on

host Brian Kenny was once again joined by analyst Eric Byrnes to reveal the Top 10 LFs presently in baseball going into the 2018 season, as determined by

Friday, January 12, 2018

Brantley Will Not Be Attending Tribe Fest 2018

hey there, Brantley fans! i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but today i have some unfortunate information to report. a couple days ago, i noticed that Michael's name was no longer on the list of confirmed players for Tribe Fest, presented by KeyBank, on January 20.😕

screenshot cropped from a video on

so i decided to reach out to the Indians on twitter and ask if Michael had to cancel. here's how they responded: unfortunately, Michael

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Brantley News & Ankle Updates from December 2017

Happy Almost New Year, Brantley fans! we're coming down the homestretch of the offseason, as spring training is right around the corner!😎 but first, here's the latest and last news about Michael from 2017. while there wasn't much information this month regarding his rehab and recovery from right ankle surgery, we at least now know what position he'll be playing with the Indians in 2018.

there's also a surprise at the end of this post detailing something i'll be starting in the new year, so be sure to read it!

for all the offseason 2017 news from October and November, plus my argument to keep Michael in left field (before we officially found out where he'd be playing), please read my previous blogs:
Brantley News from October 2017
Brantley News from November 2017 & Why He Shouldn't Move to 1st Base

December 5: in an article on, Jordan Bastian discussed some of the Tribe's needs for 2018. he once again stated that Cleveland might consider moving Michael

Saturday, December 16, 2017

RIP Walter Goldbach

i just want to take a minute to say rest in peace to Walter Goldbach, the creator of the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo, and offer my condolences to his family. Goldbach died on Wednesday, December 13, at the age of 88, as was reported by yesterday. i am very sad to hear this. the Wahoo was partially what made me become an Indians fan 20-some years ago, so this is particularly upsetting for me.😢

photo courtesy of @wkyc on twitter

what's more upsetting is, as of right now, the Indians have not even

Friday, December 15, 2017

Goodbye Slamtana

after losing Bryan Shaw earlier this week to the Colorado Rockies, the Indians have now also lost their biggest free agent on the market. that's right, this afternoon, on December 15, Carlos Santana agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, per Jon Heyman. it comes with a fourth year, $17.5 million option as well, according to Jesse Sanchez. and so it's time for me to write another goodbye blog.😢

let's go back to the beginning. on July 26, 2008, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Santana (and Jon Meloan) to Cleveland for Casey Blake and cash. once in our system, he played strictly behind the plate for the Single A Kinston Indians, Double A Akron (then) Aeros, and Triple A Columbus Clippers. as he was coming up, it was assumed that prospect Santana would be the Tribe's future every day catcher. not only that, but the switch-hitter was pegged to be this big power bat, which the Indians desperately needed.

when the phenom made his Major League debut on June 11, 2010, fans were so excited. he was immediately thrust into the 3rd spot in the batting order, but later turned into the cleanup hitter. unfortunately, Santana suffered a huge blow on August 2 when he blocked the plate in the game against the Boston Red Sox and collided with a baserunner. the terrifying event resulted in a high grade strain of his LCL, hyperextension of his left knee, and season-ending

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Goodbye Bryan "Geek" Shaw

Indians fans knew this was coming eventually and now, on December 12, the details have emerged. almost five years to the day after he was traded to Cleveland from the Arizona Diamondbacks, free agent Bryan Shaw has agreed to a three-year deal with the Colorado Rockies, pending a physical. according to Buster Olney, Shaw is expected to earn around $9 million annually. congrats.💰

whenever a player who's been on the team for a long period of time is traded or becomes a free agent and then signs elsewhere, i typically write a goodbye blog containing a few kind words and maybe a nice memory or two. i haven't done one of these in a while, but Shaw's departure is certainly worthy of a formal farewell.

Shaw has been a vital member of the Tribe's bullpen since 2013. in each of his five seasons with us, he made at least 70 regular season appearances and pitched no less than 64.0 innings. in the last four years, he appeared in at least 74 games. the right-hander set a single-season franchise record in 2014 by pitching in an MLB-best 80 games. he was also tied for the most appearances in baseball this past season with 79. basically, all the guy does is pitch.

more importantly, he never gets hurt. you would think that all these outings in consecutive years would catch up with him sometime, but Shaw never