The Cleveland Indians were initially hoping that Michael Brantley would not have to miss more than a game or two when he took a shot to the head in a game with the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week. Initial tests indicated that Brantley did not have a concussion, though the team knew it was still a possibility.
After being scratched from the lineup on Tuesday, Brantley went in for further evaluations. At that point he was diagnosed with a concussion that will keep him out at least until this weekend.
Brantley was originally in Tuesday’s lineup, but was scratched and sent to the hospital for more tests. That’s when the concussion was confirmed.
“Michael is doing very well,” said Francona. “Everything that has been introduced to him today . . .the reaction tests . . .he’s done very well. Every activity that has been given to him today he’s handled without any occurrences (of concussion-like symptoms).
The Indians believe that Saturday is a realistic return date for Brantley. That puts him on roughly the same timetable as the seven-day disabled list that Major League Baseball currently has in place, as he would miss five games.
At 2.7 fWAR, Brantley’s all-around game makes him one of the top outfielders in the American League (ranked 4th, according to FanGraphs). To fans outside of Cleveland, Brantley might be considered a star on the rise, but that might not do justice to the quality player that he already is. The Indians will hope that he passes all the necessary protocol to return to their lineup this weekend.