Michael Brantley Will Not Be Able to Start MLB Baseball Opening Day Against Boston

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Indians’ Michael Brantley didn’t make enough progress after the shoulder surgery he underwent in November, and will not be able to join the team on opening day.

The player was determined to return on April 4 against Boston Red Sox, but according to manager Terry Francona this won’t be possible because despite the progress Brantley made, he will not be ready to play in the left field.

“We will let this thing calm down a little bit, then ramp him back up,” Francona said. “He’s not going to start the season with us as our starting left fielder. He will certainly travel with us. So if that’s the case, let’s give him a chance to be healthy for the whole year.”

After playing in two exhibition games Brantley expressed some soreness in his right shoulder. He was advised to avoid any baseball activities as long as necessary.

Sadly, there is no a specific date for Brantley’s return to the field.

Outfielder Will Venable and reliever Joe Thatcher were released by the team.

After Brantley made an incredible recovery after his surgery, he and the Indians were optimistic he might be ready to join the team and start this season.

According to Francona, outfielders Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill and Robbie Grossman are aware they are still eligible for a roster spot.

“We know there is anxiety but we just can’t tell them until we know,” Francona said. “Byrd told us he was ready to play when he signed, and he was.”

Byrd who’s hitting .467 with five doubles in 15 at-bats in five games, signed a minor league contract on March 17. While Rajai Davis signed a major league contract in December.

Tyler Naquin, Indians rookie was informed on Friday that he was in the opening-day roster.

The team’s plan is to have five outfielders this season.

The Indians signed Venable on Feb. 26, the player who hit .133 this spring in 13 games signed a minor league contract, just after the MLB suspended outfielder Abraham Almonte for almost 80 games after he tested positive for a banned substance.

“We try to gauge where guys are by history, resume and health,” Francona said. “We just told him there are guys ahead of him. It doesn’t mean we don’t think he can play. He called his agent and would like to explore some things.”

We’ll be looking forward to see who keeps the spot.

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