It appears as though Michael Brantley will not return from his injury as early as originally planned.
Houston Astros starting left fielder Michael Brantley has been out with a shoulder injury since June 26. Originally, the Astros placed Brantley on the 10-day IL on June 28, expecting he would just need some rest. However, that 10-day period ended last week on the sixth of July, and both fans and the Astros’ front office looked forward to him returning this week against the Angels to help shore up the young outfield with some veteran leadership.
On July 14, it was reported by Julia Morales that Michael Brantley was flown back to Houston to be evaluated.
Brantley felt off after batting practice and will likely be out until after the All-Star break at a minimum. Chandler Rome reported that Dusty Baker commented that it wasn’t a setback for Brantley but I, for one, am taking that with a grain of salt as the Astros also have said many things about players coming back and it not being close to reality, a la Lance McCullers.
With Brantley out, the Houston Astros are thin in the outfield as Yordan Alvarez is also currently injured. In last night’s game versus the Angels, Jose Altuve also left early on after being hit with the opening pitch of the game. Altuve limped home on an RBI single by Kyle Tucker but his absence leaves the Astros depleted even more than before, so hopefully he will be just fine. Brantley, on the other hand, has had two right shoulder surgeries so the Astros should take their time for his return. This shallow bench and injury bug should lead the Astros to be more active in their search for another bat in the lineup and potentially and outfield bat. I would not rely on a twice-repaired shoulder of a 35-year-old outfielder, who may be suffering once again from a more serious injury.
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