With the playoff window all but closed, the Cleveland Indians are officially ending Michael Brantley’s 2015 season. Brantley has been battling an injured shoulder that he hurt on a diving attempt earlier on September 22 in Minnesota. A recent MRI revealed shoulder inflammation, leading to the Indians making the decision to shut him down for the remaining six games. He has been listed as day-to-day and played in only two games since the injury, going 0-for-8, and has not looked like his All-Star self.
Similar to starter Carlos Carrasco, who himself was suffering from a sore shoulder last month, Brantley will be receiving a cortisone shot, which will require at least a week of rest. After which, the Indians will ramp up his activity to ensure that he is well heading into the offseason.
Were it not for this shoulder injury and a back injury that he suffered in April, Brantley could have been looking at his best season in the Majors. Even with the lingering injuries, he put up an impressive .310/.379/.480 slash line with 15 home runs and a career-high 10.1% walk rate. His ISO rating, which skyrocketed to .178 in 2014 from .112 in 2013, remained high in 2015 (.170), indicating that the power-hitting Brantley could be here to stay.
If the Indians wanted to rush Brantley back and try and squeeze him in for a couple games, that could be a possibility, but they are taking the smart route and shutting him down while the team finishes out their playoff-less season.
Brantley played in 137 games this season, his fewest since 2011 when he played in 114 in his first season at full-time outfield duties.