The Indians announced on Wednesday that they’ve placed left fielder Michael Brantley on the 10-day disabled list due to the sprained right ankle that he suffered in last night’s game. Infielder Erik Gonzalez has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move.
Cleveland did not give a timeline on Brantley’s return to the roster, but even a brief loss is a blow for the team, as Cleveland finds itself in a reasonably tight American League Central division. The Indians are currently four games up on the Royals and 5.5 games ahead of the Twins in the Central. Brantley’s DL stint means he’ll miss a three-game set in Minnesota from Aug. 15-17 and at least the beginning of a three-game set in Kansas City immediately following that series. Cleveland also hosts Kansas City from Aug. 25-27.
Manager Terry Francona tells Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the sprain isn’t overly serious, but it’s also the second time that Brantley’s right ankle has sent him to the DL this season. “It’s considered mild, but it’s such a small area and you have to go more on the symptoms than maybe the diagnosis,” said Francona.
[Related: Updated Cleveland Indians depth chart]
With Brantley on the shelf for the time being, the Indians figure to rotate Austin Jackson, Brandon Guyer and Abraham Almonte in the outfield corners while rookie Bradley Zimmer handles the bulk of the playing time in center field. Cleveland is currently without Lonnie Chisenhall thanks to a strained right calf, meaning they’re without two of their top left-handed bats in the outfield. Speculatively speaking, the Indians could eventually turn to Tyler Naquin, even for a brief time, to add another lefty-swinging outfielder to the mix while Brantley and Chisenhall mend.
In 372 plate appearances this season, Brantley has posted a very solid .299/.358/.445 batting line with nine homers, 20 doubles and a triple.