Cleat Geeks

Brantley & Lowrie Both Having Season Ending Surgeries

Indians manager Terry Francona says outfielder Michael Brantley will have season-ending surgery on Monday. The specifics of the surgery have yet to be announced, and the timeline of his recovery isn’t yet clear, but Brantley had been dealing with shoulder and biceps issues and already appeared unlikely to return in 2016.CI_092314DC-0339.CR2

Brantley had shoulder surgery last November and began the season on the disabled list, then had persistent problems with the shoulder throughout the season. He was also diagnosed with biceps tendinitis in June, and he had surgery last month to remove scar tissue from his biceps tendon.

Brantley has collected just 43 plate appearances this season, batting a mere .231/.279/.282. That’s a far cry from the numbers he posted in his healthy 2014 and 2015 seasons, when he hit a combined .319/.382/.494 and rated among the American League’s best players.

As Francona explained today (via Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes on Twitter), the timing of Brantley’s surgery now is geared toward getting him healthy for next season and presumably beyond. Brantley remains under contract with the Indians for 2017, and his contract contains a team option for 2018.

Indian’s fans hope for a speedy recovery, and have to wonder how much more magical this season would have been with a healthy Michael Brantley.JedLowrie

Athletics infielder Jed Lowrie will undergo surgery to remove a bunion and repair a ligament in his left foot. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season as a result of the procedure. The veteran infielder has struggled with the problem for some time, and attempts to battle through it failed. He’ll have the work done now in hopes of having plenty of time to recover in advance of Spring Training next year.

Lowrie, 32, seemed like a viable trade candidate prior to the foot problem and related struggles. He had been hitting at a fairly typical, roughly league-average clip before suffering through a rough month of July. As things stand currently, Lowrie owns a .263/.314/.322 batting line over 369 plate appearances on the year. Acquired over the winter to help anchor the Oakland infield, Lowrie has also posted below-average defensive ratings.

There’s no question that the foot malady has played a role, as reporters have documented how much of an impact it has had. Hopefully for both player and team, he’ll be able to return to full health in advance of the 2017 campaign. Lowrie is set to earn $6.5MM next year and can be controlled for an additional season with a $6MM club option, which comes with a $1MM buyout.

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