GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Every morning, the Indians gauge how Michael Brantley is feeling and then begin mapping out the next steps in his comeback. On Tuesday, manager Terry Francona noted that the left fielder is now rapidly approaching a major hurdle.Barring any setbacks, Brantley is scheduled to play in a
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Every morning, the Indians gauge how Michael Brantley is feeling and then begin mapping out the next steps in his comeback. On Tuesday, manager Terry Francona noted that the left fielder is now rapidly approaching a major hurdle.
Barring any setbacks, Brantley is scheduled to play in a Minor League game Wednesday and Friday, marking his first non-simulated game action of Spring Training. Brantley is continuing to work his way back from August right biceps surgery, which followed the right shoulder procedure he had done in November 2015.
"He knows exactly what he's doing," said Indians closer Cody Allen, who threw to Brantley in a simulated session Monday. "His thing right now is just being able to get on the field, be healthy day to day. The training staff and those guys are going to do everything they can for him. They've done a great job with him and he's worked his tail off. We're excited for him."
Brantley simulated three at-bats against Allen and setup man Bryan Shaw during Monday's morning workout and came away with no issues. On Tuesday, the outfielder took normal batting practice in a hitting group that included Edwin Encarnacion, Yan Gomes, Brandon Guyer and Adam Moore. Hitting is becoming a daily part of Brantley's program, though his Cactus League debut remains on hold.
Not only has Brantley's swing looked strong, the Indians have enjoyed seeing his personality returning to normal, too.
"He's been a little froggy the last couple days in the dugout," Francona said. "He wouldn't be that way if he was hurting. You can tell. Some of those indicators are maybe even more important than somebody saying he feels good."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.