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Michael Brantley could miss “significant” time in 2017

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The outfielder’s injury woes may not be over.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has had a generally awful year. After injuring his shoulder diving for a ball last September, the 29-year-old played in just 11 games in 2016 before the club shut him down for the remainder of the season and opted for surgery on his injured shoulder.

The recovery time for Brantley’s shoulder surgery is normally four months, but according to Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman, Brantley could miss “significant” time next season.

Sources familiar with Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley’s shoulder surgery suggest they believe it is quite serious, and that he could in fact miss significant time next season.

Word based on those sources is that “they had to re-anchor the muscle to the bone.”

This is our old pal Sourcey McSource, so take that for what you will. But last season we all laughed when Peter Gammons suggested Brantley could be out until as late as August and look where we are now.

As usual with anything injury related, the response from president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti was that there was “Nothing new on Michael.”

The Indians have missed Brantley’s production in left field this season, but they have found ways to fill the void.

Jose Ramirez, who played the majority of the first half of the season in Brantley’s vacant outfield spot, has transformed himself into a solid all-around hitter. Similar to Brantley, Ramirez rarely strikes out and he makes a ton of contact. The Indians also went out an acquired Brandon Guyer at the trade deadline to keep plugging away in the outfield.

It all worked out for 2016 considering the Indians are AL Central champions without him, but they could really use Brantley in 2017. His contract runs through 2018 and includes a $12 million team option with a $1 million buyout. If he does really miss a big chunk of 2017, one has to wonder what the Indians will do when 2018 rolls around.