CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – On Friday, any talk of putting Michael Brantley on the disabled list was, as Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona said, “premature.” But those discussions apparently matured very quickly.
Saturday, the team placed outfielder Michael Brantley on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 10. Brantley’s surgically repaired right shoulder has not been bouncing back in ideal fashion after multiple consecutive games, leading to the outfielder’s move to the DL.
“It was not a fun call, but an easy one,” Francona said. “We need to look at the big picture and take care of him.”
An MRI did not reveal anything alarming in Brantley’s shoulder, but with a checkup scheduled with Dr. Craig Morgan on Tuesday, the club opted to make the move.
With Brantley back on the DL, it’s certainly fair to ask if the Indians brought the talented left fielder back too soon.
Here’s how Francona addressed that question: “There wasn’t a reason to hold him back. If we operated under those scenarios, we may never play a game. I think you try to make the best decisions you can. Sometimes guys either don’t feel well or get hurt. That’s part of the game. You don’t ever want it to happen because you made a poor decision. The better decisions you make, the fewer problems you run into. We try not to react to a win or a loss or what our record is. We try to make decisions based on what’s right for the player.”
Brantley began the season on the DL while rehabbing his right shoulder following off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum. Following his activation on April 25, he appeared in 11 games, batting .231 (9-for-39) with two doubles and seven RBI in 11 games, but some lingering soreness in the shoulder led to a few days off for the left-handed hitter.
He has not played since Monday in Houston.
“I think we’ve tried to do it appropriately,” Francona said. “I think the trainers feel like he’s in much better shape now than he was in spring training, which I think is well… It makes sense to do this and give us some time to get him, where he comes back, hopefully he can stay back and not have to mess with this.”
Taking his spot on the 25-man roster, the Tribe recalled utility-man Michael Martinez from Triple-A Columbus. The switch-hitting Martinez was slashing .288/.351/.442 in 27 games with the Clippers.
Additionally, the 33-year-old infielder slashed .267/.290/.333 in 16 games for Cleveland last season.
With outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall currently on the Bereavement List following a death in his immediate family, the Indians felt Martinez’s late-game versatility and speed might potentially help them win a game or two.
“Just going and getting an outfielder might look good on paper, but not sure it’ll necessarily always help us win,” Francona said.