Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley will miss the remainder of the ongoing season, an official club statement confirmed on Friday.
The veteran outfielder underwent an arthroscopic labral repair on his right shoulder, an issue that has been bothering him for quite some time.
Brantley has been out of action since June, and the full extent of his shoulder struggles wasn't known until now.
"Houston #Astros All-Star OF Michael Brantley underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. Tough blow to the Astros offense." - Bob Nightengale
The Astros have been vague regarding the nature of Brantley's injury. Last month, GM James Click said that there were no updates on Brantley except to wait for his shoulder inflammation to get better.
Now it’s clear that Brantley suffered severe structural damage, and fans are praying for his speedy recovery.
Astros fans are naturally concerned as to the impact Brantley’s absence would have on their postseason ambitions. Brantley has averaged .288 with 14 doubles, five homers, 26 RBIs and .785 OPS in 64 games this year.
The Houston Astros have coped well in Brantley’s absence since June, as they continue to dominate proceedings in the AL West. Naturally, some fans are inclined to believe that their team will do just fine during the postseason without him.
This is not the first time that the 35-year-old has gone under the knife for shoulder troubles. Back in November 2015, Brantley underwent another surgery to fix a small tear in his labrum.
Michael Brantley may have played his final Houston Astros game
Brantley is in the final year of his $32 million contract. He might have played his last MLB game for the Houston Astros, should he choose not to renew.
His contributions to the club since joining in 2019 have been immense. The influence of "Uncle Mike" goes beyond stats, as manager Dusty Baker promptly pointed out when he was asked about Brantley's latest shoulder update.
"He's not called Uncle Mike for nothing...he wants to come around as soon as he can and be a part of this club. There are a lot of these guys that depend on him" - Dusty Baker
Brantley has batted a combined .306/.368/.464 in around 379 regular-season plate appearances for the Astros. This excludes the additional 211 postseason plate appearances in which he averaged .314/.376/.408.
If that’s the end of Uncle Mike's run in Houston colors, well, what a ride it has been.