Well that’s certainly not ideal.
Heading into an offseason where adding an outfielder seems to be a priority for the Tribe, the team announced Monday they’ll be down (a big) one for 5-6 months thanks to a weak-minded labrum that couldn’t hold on any longer. Michael Brantley apparently tore his on this play in Minnesota late in the year:
He was shut down for the season shortly after that. Apparently the decision was made to go under the knife after a couple weeks of unsuccessful rehab.
I would obviously prefer for our best hitter to not tear his labrum and not miss the beginning of the 2016 season. But let’s talk silver linings here folks. First off, it’s not his throwing shoulder. Rehabbing the right shoulder for a left-handed hitter that almost always follows-through with one hand on his swing won’t be a cakewalk but I’ll take that over a throwing shoulder any day. Also I don’t blame them for not doing the surgery right away. Labrum issues don’t always require it, and with the recovery time associated with a procedure it should always be a last resort. I’d much rather him have this done now and miss some time at the beginning of the season than have him try to fight through it and end up having the surgery in June anyway. Stuff like that can set careers back.
So who’ll be patrolling the green grass in front of the bleachers come opening day? With very little financial wiggle room, the new front office will almost certainly look to fill the void Brantley leaves in left or find an upgrade over Almonte in center (or both) internally or via the trade. Options that have been whispered about include:
- Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins
- Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs
- Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
- Alex Gordon
- Gerardo Parra
- Alejandro De Aza
- Nori Aoki
- Will Venable
- Zach Walters
- Jerry Sands
- Michael Choice
- Jose Ramirez
(not on 40 man)
- Tyler Naquin
- James Ramsey
For a team that has been plagued by slow starts in recent seasons (seriously, like the black death), this is one hell of a first test for our new front office structure.
KEEP THE CHIEF
(from the Brantley shut down blog last season)