According to reports, Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley resumed baseball activities on Sunday for the first time since being placed on the 10-day injury list for knee soreness, retroactive to September 11.
After watching him swing the bat and get in some glove work, Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker spoke to the media on Sunday and gave an informative declaration for the 2021 all-star opt-out. Baker told Mark Berman of Fox 26 that Brantley is coming along pretty good.
— Brandon L. Carr (@Carrpediem21) September 20, 2021
He said, “We miss Brantley. The other guys have been doing a good job, but we miss Michael Brantley. He is a quality player, (a) quality defensive player who adds balance to our lineup with another lefty because you know we are right-handed strong right now. You don’t know how much you miss a guy until he is gone.”
Brantley traveled to Anaheim for a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels yesterday. Although the timetable for his return isn’t exact, the earliest he could be activated is Wednesday, September 22.
The 34-year-old has a long history of injuries dating back to his days in Cleveland; Before this stint, he spent 15 days on the IL earlier this season with some hamstring discomfort. Besides that, with the Astros, he’s been relatively healthy.
Brantley is still hunting the American League batting crown with a little over 10 games remaining as he is ranked second in votes behind Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
To qualify for the batting title, a player must make at least 502 at-bats. The big-league outfielder posted an average of .315 at the plate with an on-base percentage of .367 and a .441 slugging percentage in 493 plate appearances.
Baker indicated to the Houston Chronicle that Brantley’s return would come into play when he regains his pro form as Sunday was the first time, he swung a bat since he sustained the initial injury.
Baker implied, “It is a matter of communication when you talk to (Brantley). At this point in your career, you know yourself, and you know what it feels like to have your act together. Some guys get it quickly, and some guys, it takes a long time. Some guys never lose it. That is rare. So, we will see.”