CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – The hurdles in front of him have been many, but Michael Brantley has one more to clear before he hits the field: his manager.
Brantley was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday after missing 53 days with an ankle sprain, but was not in the Indians’ initial lineup. The date of his activation was arbitrary, with Terry Francona refusing to unveil whether or not the outfielder would play Saturday.
The reason for that was because the skipper wanted to have one last chat with his All-Star.
“He’s got a career ahead of himself,” Francona said. “I just want to make sure that we’re not putting him in a spot that isn’t right. So, we’re going to talk for a little bit. That’s kind of where we left it and I think he was comfortable with that, too.”
The direction of the career that the noted “player’s manager” reference could hinge heavily on Brantley’s $12 million option for 2018, one in question due to the 30-year old’s health.
“He’s tried so hard, and I’ve seen it,” Francona said. “Believe me, we appreciate what he’s trying to do, but I just want to talk to him, and in-depth. So, we’ll do that a little later on.”
Brantley was slashing .299/.358/.445 with 9 home runs, 20 doubles and a triple through 88 games prior to his injury. He has played 99 games to date through the last two seasons.