The Astros were supposed to get two key pieces of their lineup back this week in Michael Brantley and Chas McCormick. Both were expected to provide a lift for a Houston offense that has struggled. Chas would provide a high walk rate and home run power that has been sorely lacking. Brantley falls out of bed and hits .300. This week was supposed to be a turning point, with expectations that Brantley would be activated on Monday.
Here we are Wednesday and while with the team in Anaheim, Brantley is now not even swinging a bat. In true Dusty fashion, Dusty Baker said last night Brantley wasn't swinging, but it isn't a setback.
Dana Brown told Sean Salisbury on SportsTalk790 this morning that the Astros decided to slow Brantley down so a swing and a miss wouldn't reaggravate the injury. So in a week's time Uncle Mike has gone from rehabbing and hitting the ball well in Sugar Land to not even swinging a bat. But again, by no means a setback.
Brown added that an update on Brantley should come this afternoon.
The nightmare offseason for the Astros continues. José Abreu was given $58 million to hit, and has been one of the five worst hitters on the planet. Rafael Montero, the Astros fourth-best relief option last season, was given $11.5 million to get leverage outs, but is instead offering tours around the basepaths. And Uncle Mike was given a $12 million deal (loaded with playing time incentives) to help stabilize the Astros offense.
We sure have come a long way since this quote.
It is becoming more clear by the minute that the Astros decision to ditch what had built a winning machine, and instead hand over the reigns of decision making to Jeff Bagwell, could not have gone any worse.
As updates come out on Brantley's health status, we'll continue to update the story.