The Cleveland Indians added another stanza to the epic poem about Michael Brantley's return to baseball today.
Michael Brantley is expected to resume baseball activities in December and be ready for Spring Training. pic.twitter.com/e5aAo5V2e2— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) November 4, 2016
The return of the All-Star left fielder has been filled with twists and turns, driven time and again off course. Brantley attempted to return at the end of April this season, and managed only eleven appearances before the Indians shut him back down. Fans held out hope that he might return in time to help the Tribe with a playoff push, but those hopes, too, were dashed against the rocks when the team announces a season-ending surgery.
The season is now over, and the Indians are positioned for a fantastic 2017 with the addition of a healthy Brantley. If he returns to 100%, the Indians are adding an MVP-caliber bat to its AL Champions roster for free. Some wonder whether or not he will return as a left fielder full-time; with the way the Indians juggled the outfield this season, manager Terry Francona may shuffle him back and forth between playing the field and DHing. This would keep him more rested and, in theory, reduce the strain on the hopefully-recovered shoulder.
For now, we can only wait and hope that his return does not stretch into an unending odyssey.