Michael Brantley has been one of the reasons the Cleveland Indians have remained in the hunt for the final American League wild card spot over the last few weeks. With the Indians on the verge of elimination from postseason play, the Indians decided to shut down their all star outfielder for the remainder of the season.
Brantley has been battling a sore right shoulder for the last week. Brantley received a cortisone shot before game one of Wednesday’s double header. Brantley had an MRI earlier in the day which revealed shoulder inflammation. Nevertheless, manager Terry Francona decided to shut him down for the year anyways. Brantley suffered the injury in their series last week at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins. Brantley was trying to drive for a fly ball and landed on the shoulder.
“He has given everything he has, and it’s the right thing to do now,” Francona said. “I think he knows it. I don’t think he likes it, but I think he understands it. From where I sit, it’s the right thing to do, and I appreciate how much he tried to play. You also have a responsibility to take care of your guys, too.”
Brantley returned to the Indians lineup on Sunday after missing four straight games. Brantley went hitless over the last two games. Brantley was in the starting lineup on Tuesday night, but the game never got underway before it was postponed.
Brantley finishes the season with .310 batting average, 15 home runs and 84 runs batted in in 137 games. The Indians trail the Los Angeles Angels by five games for the final American League wild card spot.