Jonah Keri, who apparently hates Christmas, dropped a bomb last week while talking on Toronto 1050. He basically went all Peter Gammons circa the 2015 Winter Meetings on us, claiming that Michael Brantley has a “horrific” injury and there are doubts he may ever be back to normal.
The full clip can be found here around the 7:05 mark, but here’s the important bit:
Let me start with this, I’ve got some sources — if you’re in a fantasy league don’t draft Michael Brantley. That’s my piece of advice to you. I don’t think Michael Brantley is going to be a significant contributor in 2017. I actually have some worries that he might ever be okay. This is a horrific, horrifically bad injury. I never say never, but this is not good [inaudible]. They kind of softened it last year, “oh it turned out to be more serious than it was.” Nah, dude, like there is some problems.
That is potentially huge news, considering a lot of Cleveland Indians fans are hinging their hopes on Brantley returning to solidify a weak outfield next season. And if he cannot fully recover, let alone play in 2017, the Indians have a huge hole to fill this season.
Yesterday, addressing the four-day old post on the Indians subreddit, r/WahoosTipi, the Indians’ reddit team (which they note does not include Chris Antonetti or Mike Chernoff, obviously), did their best to shoot down the rumors instead of letting them spiral out of control like the Gammons bombshell did last season.
Honestly, I would not expect the Indians — through official higher-ups or their social channels — to say anything differently. They’ve put the story out there that Brantley is on track, and there’s no reason to sway from that otherwise unless his shoulder detaches itself from Brantley and rockets itself into the sun. The fact that the Indians even bothered to respond is nice in itself.
It’s still worrying that the reports are out there, though, because the Indians clearly did not know just how extensive this injury was last season when they let him try and play for a handful of games. Get well soon, Michael.