Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Brantley Placed on 10-Day DL with Right Ankle Sprain (Take Two)

today, on August 9, the Cleveland Indians placed Michael Brantley on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain. it was diagnosed as a mild sprain despite Michael's original fear of something more severe. the earliest eligibility date for his activation is August 19. this is the second time in less than two months that Michael has gone on the disabled list due to a sprained right ankle, and third time overall in 2017 that it's affected his ability to stay on the field.

photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

Michael re-injured his ankle last night, on August 8, during the game versus the Colorado Rockies. in the top of the 5th inning, with the Indians trailing, 1-0, Mark Reynolds hit a fly ball to center field off Corey Kluber for the first out. Michael started to run over to center to back up Bradley Zimmer on the play and the next thing everyone knew, he was
down on the grass. according to Jordan Bastian, Michael broke hard to his left for a few steps, then pulled up and went down, and just sat on the grass and waited for the head athletic trainer to come. in the video on, you can see exactly when it happened, made evident by his hopping before he even got to left-center field.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer
photo courtesy of Tony Dejak via The Associated Press
photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

from the above photos, just the way in which Michael is sitting there with his hands folded, i immediately picked up on how he not only knew he was definitely gonna be leaving the game, but that he also knew this was serious and he was going to have to miss more time this season.🙁

after assistant athletic trainer Jeff Desjardins finished his quick examination of the right leg and ankle area, Michael did walk off the field under his own power, albeit slowly, per Bastian. Paul Hoynes added that he was limping, Chris Assenheimer claimed he wasn't limping, and Ryan Lewis tweeted he had some help getting into the dugout.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer

apparently on the SportsTime Ohio TV broadcast, Michael allegedly told the trainer "it just snapped." i was not privy to that, as i have to listen to games on WTAM 1100. all i heard was Jim Rosenhaus incorrectly label it as a "left leg injury."🙄 however, in the video on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel, it does look like Michael used the word "snap" and he did need assistance to go down the steps that lead to the clubhouse.

when Terry Francona met with the media for his postgame presser, he informed them that Michael was getting imaged (MRI) and they'd have an idea of what was going on by the morning. "i think at first he thought it might have been his Achilles," Tito explained in's youtube video. "that's why he didn't get up. he felt something, but it was on the side [of his ankle], so it's not that [his Achilles]. we just gotta wait and see, there's no sense playing the doctor tonight."🏥

(his Achilles may be fine, but now it seems as though that right ankle has become his Achilles' heel this year.😟)

some of Michael's teammates spoke about him leaving the game early as well. "nobody knew what was going on," Yan Gomes stated. "he's kind of just sitting out there and, i even said it to the umpire, it's like one of those non-contact injuries like you see in football. those are usually the worst thing so we're praying for him. we're hoping it's not as bad news as it kinda looks, especially for him having to come out of the game. so we're hoping for a nice little bounce back for him. we know we need him."

"it's scary," admitted Kluber, "especially when it's kind of non-contact. he means so much to our team and, i don't know what's going on with him, but hopefully it's nothing too serious and he'll be okay."

"he's a guy that obviously does a lot for us on the field and in the clubhouse and just really does a lot of everything," Zimmer remarked. "so to see him go down like that, it's tough."

before the noon game versus the Rockies on August 9, it was revealed that Michael had a mild sprain, though the course of action for the day changed within an hour. shortly after 10 am, the Indians twitter account posted that Michael would be treated today and then a plan would be developed from there, with the DL and his travel itinerary for the upcoming road trip TBD.

Hoynsie's article on had more details from Francona this morning. "Michael was imaged (MRI) Tuesday night. it's the same ankle he sprained earlier in the year. it's in a little different area. what the trainers want to do is take today and see what direction this goes with treatment. it could very well be a DL, but i think they'd like to have a day to see if it gets stiff or gets swollen. it's considered mild, but it's such a small area and you have to go more on the symptoms than maybe the diagnosis. they just wanted a day to see where it goes and we were OK with that."

the good news is the trainers ruled out a major Achilles tendon injury. "i think that's what Mike was really worried about. he was really concerned about that. i was relieved when he pointed to where it was hurting. i'm not a doctor, but i know a little bit. it was on the side of the ankle. when someone is sitting out there, you're never really relieved. but i knew it wasn't an Achilles (injury)."

"you don't want to ever lose anybody," Tito went on in Bastian's article. "but when you see a guy sitting out there, then you hear the trainers say, 'well, give us a day to kind of look,' it makes you feel a heck of a lot better than maybe we did last night."

a contradicting report was released around 11 am, when Michael was placed on the 10-Day DL and Erik Gonzalez was recalled from the Columbus Clippers. not sure what prompted that hurried move after they'd just insisted on waiting a day before making a definitive decision, but the sooner he begins his DL stint, the sooner he can hopefully get back.🤞 he will fly with the team tonight to go on their 11-game road trip, so said Francona in Assenheimer's article on🛫

Michael has been battling a right ankle sprain on and off since the game on May 7 against the Kansas City Royals. with Carlos Santana at 1st base, 1 out, and no score in the top of the 3rd inning, Michael hit a little dribbler after a full count off left-hander Danny Duffy that bounced in front of home plate. the ball didn't make its way too far up the 3rd baseline, so Royals catcher Salvador Perez ran to it on the infield grass and threw out Michael on a close play. in his attempt to try and beat out the grounder, Michael awkwardly stepped on the bag. (to see the full at bat, go to the 3:10 mark in this video on

no one initially suspected anything was awry because Michael went out to play left field for the bottom of the 3rd. it was only when he was subbed out defensively for the bottom of the 4th that his ankle injury came to light. as a result, Michael missed the three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays from May 8-10. the Indians had an off day on May 11, and then he returned to the lineup on May 12. (for ankle updates during that time period, please refer to the Right Ankle Sprain section of my Brantley's May 2017 #s blog.)

Michael's second bout with ankle pain materialized in June. he'd been quietly dealing with continued ankle soreness all along since the May KC series. after some confusion, it was surmised that Michael tweaked his ankle again during the June 2 game against the Royals when he lunged to 1st after getting on base with one of his three singles. Michael received some extra time off when he went on the Paternity List on June 16, but it wasn't enough for his ankle issue to subside. having had already missed four days while out (from June 15-18), the Indians decided to go ahead and put him on the 10-Day DL on June 19 to give him another full week off in hopes of getting his ankle to calm down for good.

more information on this can be found in my Brantley Moved from Paternity List to 10-Day DL with Right Ankle Sprain blog. and for daily DL updates, please read my Brantley Activated from 10-Day DL (w/ Right Ankle Updates) blog.

Michael was activated from the DL on June 26, but did not play until the following night. since Michael's been back, he's played in 34 games between June 27 and August 8, batting .302 (39-for-129) with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 24 RBI, 11 walks, four stolen bases, and 15 strikeouts. as the left fielder, he's also acquired three assists and one double play. he currently has a .299 batting average on the year and recently was starting to get his power back, totaling four home runs in his last 13 games.

this marks Michael's fifth appearance on the disabled list in his big league career, and second this season.

his first stint transpired on August 26, 2011, when he was placed on the 15-Day DL with right wrist pain, which turned out to be a broken hamate bone.

Michael did not see the DL again until he went on it twice in 2016. he opened the season on the 15-Day DL while he was still recovering from offseason right shoulder surgery for his torn labrum. he came off the DL on April 25, but landed back on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder inflammation (later identified as chronic right biceps tendinitis), on May 14. Michael was transferred to the 60-Day DL on July 3 in a paper move and, unfortunately, stayed there for the rest of the year in the wake of having biceps tenodesis (surgery) in August.

presently in 2017, Michael went on the 10-Day DL with a right ankle sprain on June 19 and now he's returned to the DL today for the same reason.

in my previous DL blog, i wrote about how Michael dealt with ankle sprains when he was younger and coming up in the minor leagues. he used to tape his ankles in an effort to avoid injuries, and i assumed he was utilizing that method this season after his initial sprain. prior to this year, Michael's last notable ankle injury occurred when he suffered a left ankle sprain on August 19, 2010, in a game against the Royals. that did not necessitate any DL time and he only missed four games before being reinserted into the Indians' lineup on August 25.

Michael's never had so much bad luck with his ankle before, so it's a bit troubling and certainly sad that this has been an ongoing nuisance. i'd hoped this would all be over by now, especially after his time on the disabled list in June.😞

if in spring training, i had told you that Michael would have a recurring ailment this season that he'd need multiple trips to the DL for, would you ever have thought the culprit would be an ankle sprain? it's almost unbelievable and i'm not trying to downplay it, but at least his shoulder's held up.💪

i of course will be tweeting all the Michael ankle updates i can find, so make sure you are following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 to stay up to date on the latest news. it's too early to know if he will need to go out on a minor league rehab assignment before he's allowed to come back. he didn't in June, but this is a bit different so it can't be ruled out. i'm guessing if he can come off the DL right around the 10-day mark, then he likely won't require one, but if he has to stay on it longer, then he might need to go play with the kids for a few games. i'll have it covered either way.

don't forget, you can also receive email notifications whenever i publish a new blog if you sign up for my subscription list in the box underneath the Blog Archive sidebar over on the upper right side of this page. then you'll be part of the Brantley Blog top-priority crew!📧

get well soon, Michael!💗🙏📿

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