The talented – yet often injured – outfielder is scheduled to appear in a minor-league game on Wednesday and barring any setbacks, will play again on Friday, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. This would mark his first non-simulated game action since he underwent his second surgery in less than two years.
“He’s been a little froggy the last couple days in the dugout,” Francona said. “He wouldn’t be that way if he was hurting. You can tell. Some of those indicators are maybe even more important than somebody saying he feels good.”
Brantley initially underwent shoulder surgery in November of 2015, returned to start the 2016 season but only appeared in 11 games before being shut down with recurring discomfort. Diligently, he attempted to get back into game shape but suffered a setback which eventually resulted in the 29-year-old needing right biceps surgery in August.
Before his barrage of injuries, Brantley was one of the American League’s more consistent and productive outfielders. From 2012-15, he combined to hit an effective .303/.362/.447 and averaged 17 stolen bases per season.
If he can stay in the Indians’ lineup more consistently, it would provide the team with yet another offensive weapon, furthering the club’s depth in the outfield.