Tribe thrilled to see Brantley blossoming

Tribe thrilled to see Brantley blossoming

Tribe thrilled to see Brantley blossoming
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have enjoyed watching Michael Brantley turn in a career year during this trying season. Unfortunately, the young center fielder has had trouble enjoying it himself due to the team's performance.

"There's no such thing as personal success if we're losing, in my opinion," Brantley said. "None whatsoever. This game is about wins and losses as a team. We lose as a team and we win as a team."

Brantley has experienced personal success, though, making him one less player for Cleveland to worry about as it looks ahead to next season and beyond.

"It's very satisfying for us," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We feel that we've got a very good player in Michael."

Entering Sunday's game with the Yankees, the 25-year-old Brantley was hitting .292 with six home runs, 34 doubles and 55 RBIs through 122 games. Along the way, he has scored 52 runs, stolen 12 bases and posted a .341 on-base percentage.

In Saturday's 3-1 win over New York, Brantley provided all the offense with a three-run home run off Hiroki Kuroda in the first inning.

Brantley -- whose season ended prematurely in late August last year due to a right hand injury -- got off to a rough start this year, hitting just .233 in his first 28 games. Since then, however, the center fielder has hit at a .311 clip with a .361 on-base percentage.

"It's been great to see," Acta said. "Last year, his season was cut down with the injury and he tailed off a little bit at the end, obviously, because he was hurt. So it was going to be interesting to see Michael's consistency coming into this season. He started a little slow, but, man, he's been the most steady hitter we've had."