DETROIT -- Michael Brantley has had his ups and downs through the rookie's first handful of games as a starting outfielder at the Major League level. In Chicago, Brantley hit safely in all three games, going 3-for-10 with an RBI and two runs scored. He also struck out four times, but Brantley recognizes that there will be a learning curve.
Austin Kearns started in Brantley's place Friday afternoon in Detroit.
"I'm just trying to stay consistent, that's the big thing right now," Brantley said. "Defensively, I want to get good jumps on the ball from the outfield and have good at-bats. I'm hitting in the nine-hole, so that gives me a chance to see what pitchers are doing and it gives me a chance to watch them more closely before [he bats]."
Manager Manny Acta has been pleased with Brantley's at-bats, saying that his outfielder will continue to learn the nuances of playing at the Major League level.
"Michael has a good track record," Acta said. "He has a good on-base percentage and a low strikeout ratio, so that would suggest he will do well here. "But so far we have a very small sample in the Majors."
Brantley understands that his role is to put the bat on the ball and play solid defense. But he is also learning how to get information on opposing pitchers from scouting reports. It also helps that he has veteran left-handed batters in the Cleveland lineup above him in the order.
"Lefties have never really bothered me and I really got a lot of practice facing them in the Minors," Brantley said. "Plus, I get to see how they are pitching to guys like Travis [Hafner] and Grady [Sizemore], which helps."