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The Indians are in first place in the American League Central, winners of six in a row, and they've managed to do this without their star outfielder, Michael Brantley. That's probably a good thing, as they're going to have to be without Brantley for "significant" time, if reports from Monday are any indication. Supposedly, the Indians are privately concerned about the condition of Brantley's surgically repaired shoulder. Publicly, they're denying that there has been any change in their level of concern. They're also giving similar statements to the other times Brantley's shoulder has been in question, though, and there is no timetable in mind for his return, so general manager Chris Antonetti's statement doesn't exactly have meaning, either.
Again, the Indians have played well without Brantley around, but they already lost outfielder Abraham Almonte for 80 games to a PED suspension, and Marlon Byrd, who was filling in well enough in the outfield, was just suspended for 162 games for PED use. Their outfield has two former infielders (Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez) in it, as well as Rajai Davis. While that's not bad, Brantley was one of the top players in the AL the previous two seasons. In a tight AL Central race that has already seen the White Sox and Royals split time in first place in addition to the Indians, having Brantley back is an eventual necessity.
We can't even guess at a return date for Brantley, as the Indians don't have one they're sharing and the shoulder fatigue he is experiencing is kind of a vague diagnosis. Did something not heal right? Has he just not returned all the necessary strength to the area after his procedure? Is more rest enough to get him back to feeling good? Did Brantley undo some of the good of the surgery by coming back as soon as he did? This is all stuff we'll just have to wait to find out, as uncomfortable as that might make Indians' fans. But hey, at least Cleveland is in first place without Brantley, huh?
- One Marlins prospect played a "knife prank" on another Marlins prospect, and now that prospect has been slashed and placed on the DL. If you know what a knife prank is, please, let us know.
- The Padres won the offseason 16 months ago, and then everything fell apart.
- Jose Abreu is struggling in 2016, and it's because pitchers found his one weakness, one he hasn't adjusted back to yet.
- The Cubs pulled outfielder Jorge Soler from Monday's game with a hamstring injury, the most recent in a now long line of them.
- Felix Hernandez might be on the disabled list for longer than expected. Well, unless he isn't. You know how injuries are.
- Yasiel Puig and Jared Goff are now friends after their Twitter beef. Hooray for happy endings!
- Over at MLB.com, Jim Callis redrafted the 2011 class based on what we know today. Jose Fernandez would be on the Pirates, Mookie Betts would have been drafted third overall instead of in the fifth round, and then the D-Backs would have added Jackie Bradley to their Betts, too.
- You just need to see this throw that gave the Royals a run against the Orioles. It's one of the Most Royals things you will ever see.
- And don't feel too bad about laughing, as it sounds like Cheslor Cuthbert will be able to play on Tuesday in spite of this weirdness.