The Cleveland Indians may be dealt another blow, as there is serious concern from the Indians about Michael Brantley's shoulder injury, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Source: There is serious concern from Indians that Michael Brantley is going to miss a significant amount of time with his shoulder injury.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 6, 2016
Taking this a step further, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reached out to Indians president Chris Antonetti and he is signing a bit of a different tune.
Antonetti responded, “Nothing really new. We are focused on working with Michael to help him get to the point where he’s not only healthy…— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 6, 2016
“…but strong enough to make a meaningful impact on the balance of our season. We don’t have a clear timetable for that yet but are …— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 6, 2016
“…encouraged by progress he continues to make.” Keep in mind: Not in #Indians’ interest to admit concern. Would compromise trade leverage.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 6, 2016
Brantley returned ahead of schedule from this shoulder injury on April 25, but has only played in 11 games for the Indians this season; he also hasn't played in a game since May 9. Now, it looks as though the Indians might have to complete the rest of the season without him.
In his absence, the Indians have been rolling with Jose Ramirez in left field, playing a total of 26 games. Overall, in 49 games, Ramirez has hit .317 with a .387 on-base percentage.
This marks another huge blow for the Indians, who have already been with Brantley and starter Carlos Carrasco for the last couple of weeks. Despite not having two of the biggest players, the Indians still sit atop the American League Central standings at 31-24, with a 1.5 game lead over the Kansas City Royals.
Whether or not Brantley's injury is serious, the Indians would be pressed to figure out where they stand with their outfield, so they can make the necessary moves when the trade deadline rolls around.