Brantley 'doing very well' after 2nd Minors game

Brantley 'doing very well' after 2nd Minors game

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Michael Brantley sat at his locker, talking to his Indians teammate and close friend, pitcher Josh Tomlin, for several minutes on Saturday morning. The outfielder had just completed his second Minor League game assignment of the spring in his comeback from right arm issues.

When Brantley finally left his seat and met with reporters, he was succinct in his comments, limiting the entirety of his answers to 64 words for seven questions. In the immediate wake of his latest step, Brantley's message as simple: He felt fine, but he was awaiting word about his next step.

"I'm doing very well," Brantley said. "I'm very happy with where I'm at."

Brantley, who is coming back from right biceps tenodesis surgery in August, following right shoulder surgery in November 2015, received good news on Sunday morning. He is scheduled to play left field in his Cactus League debut for the Indians on Monday against the Dodgers.

During Saturday's intrasquad game, Brantley played left field and garnered four plate appearances. He saw 12 pitches and took three swings, putting the ball in play each time. Brantley grounded out to second in his first at-bat, had a sinking line drive caught with a sliding grab by the right fielder in his second at-bat and flied out to deep center in his last trip to the plate. The outfielder also worked a five-pitch walk.

That game action came after Brantley went 1-for-3 with a double and three RBIs in a Double-A game Wednesday.

On Saturday, Brantley said he was hoping to move beyond Minor League games soon.

"That's why you work so hard to get back," he said. "You just want to get back out there with your teammates."

Asked about his upcoming schedule, Brantley deferred to Quinlan. Throughout this spring, the Indians have remained purposely vague in their public comments about the left fielder's schedule, trying to avoid target dates and go purely on how Brantley feels each day. Cleveland wants to make sure it is not rushing Brantley, who played in only 11 games last season, which was filled with setbacks.

"We're taking this day to day, as I'm sure you've heard once or twice," Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said Wednesday. "With the complex injury that he had, [we're] making sure every benchmark he's continued to [progress]. We're not setting any limitations on it and we're not setting any projections on it. We feel like his body is going to dictate how he reacts to everything."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.