SEATTLE -- It looked as if Michael Brantley's bid for his first All-Star Game was in jeopardy when the Indians left fielder suffered a mild concussion earlier this month. Not only did Brantley avoid a trip to the disabled list, he continued his torrid month after returning to the lineup.
Entering Friday, Brantley was hitting .350 (7-for-20) in the five games since coming back from the minor injury scare. Dating back to June 3, when Brantley's season average dipped to .301, all the left fielder has done is post a .403 (27-for-67) average with nine extra-base hits, 10 RBIs, 15 runs scored and nine multi-hit games in a 17-game span.
"It's nice, because his presence alone helps," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But, the fact that he swings the bat [is even better]. And some of it is his mechanics are so simplified that he probably has a better chance than most to not skip a beat."
In the most recent balloting results for the American League All-Star team, Brantley ranked sixth among his peers in the outfield. Cleveland has not had a player voted into the starting lineup since 2001, when Juan Gonzalez earned the honor for the Tribe.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on July 15 on FOX.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.