Indians star Michael Brantley does not appear likely to be ready play Opening Day, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes. “I don’t think you’ll see him playing in a Major-League game this week, that’s for sure,” says manager Terry Francona. “How we go about the next three or four days, we’ll have a better idea later today.”
Brantley had labrum surgery on his shoulder in November. He was initially pegged for a May return, but he had been ahead of schedule in his rehab. He played in Spring Training games Saturday and Monday, raising hopes that he might be able to play Opening Day. He has not appeared since, however, with Francona saying that Brantley was being shut down for a short time because his shoulder was not improving as much as anticipated.
Francona seems hopeful that Brantley’s delay won’t be a long one. “It might be a week later … it might be 10 days,” he says. “But he’s going to be just fine. We just have to do it right.”
Among Indians outfielders, Tyler Naquin, Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis have made the team, Hoynes writes. If Brantley starts the season on the DL, that leaves Collin Cowgill (who is on the 40-man roster) battling with minor-league invitees Marlon Byrd, Will Venable, Shane Robinson and Robbie Grossman for two remaining outfield spots out of camp.