GOODYEAR, Ariz -- It was impossible to ignore the recognizable smile on Michael Brantley's face Friday morning.The sound of the ball coming off his bat during batting practice had a familiar sound, too.• Indians Spring Training infoBrantley, who had right shoulder surgery last November, took batting practice on the field
GOODYEAR, Ariz -- It was impossible to ignore the recognizable smile on Michael Brantley's face Friday morning.
The sound of the ball coming off his bat during batting practice had a familiar sound, too.
• Indians Spring Training info
Brantley, who had right shoulder surgery last November, took batting practice on the field with his Indians teammates for the first time this spring Friday. He followed up the hitting session by hitting off the tee in the batting cages.
"It's another step to getting closer to playing in the games," Brantley said. "There was a little more excitement to be with the group of guys. I like it."
The left fielder sprayed line drives all over the field during the session. He also ran around the bases while Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez took their swings.
"That's probably the main thing, just being out there with your teammates and not having to go somewhere separate," Brantley said. "I like having an entire day of working with the guys. I am excited where I am."
Brantley said he'll continue to take batting practice on the field and "see how I feel when I wake up in the morning." He's not sure when he will appear in a Cactus League game. He's still targeting Opening Day.
"If it's not Opening Day, it's whatever day I can help the team," Brantley said. "I want to come back 100 percent and make sure that I'm ready to go to help my teammates win a ballgame."
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.