GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Michael Brantley is going to try and deal with his toughest task yet at the Cleveland Indians’ training camp — rest.
Off to a hot start, the outfielder reported to the clubhouse Tuesday wearing a protective wrap on his left forearm. It covered the area where Brantley got 15 stitches following a play in which he was accidentally spiked by Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson on Monday.
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“It’s all taken care of, I’m sewed up and want to get back playing as soon as I can,” Brantley said. “It hurt a little bit at first, but I’m fine. I got quite a few stitches. I don’t know how many and I don’t want to know.”
Brantley says he has no timetable for returning to the lineup, but manager Terry Francona said could be about 10 days.
“He took five stitches internally and 10 externally. It will probably be three days where he doesn’t do anything, just let the wound heal, make sure it is clean. Then he’ll slowly return to activity. There’s no reason to rush this thing,” Francona said.
Brantley was hurt as he tried for third base after hitting a double during Cleveland’s 14-10 win. Though he was tagged out by Donaldson, the hit gave him an .833 batting average (5 for 6) with four doubles and two RBIs in three exhibition games.
“I wish you could bottle his swing right now,” Francona said. “His first four swings (in games) were perfect. Just gorgeous.”
Francona said he would use several different players in left field in Brantley’s absence. Minor-league hopeful Tim Fedroff was listed as the starter in left against the Royals on Tuesday. Veterans Ben Francisco, Ryan Raburn and several other minor-leaguers likely will play there while Brantley rehabs.
“I’ll just do what the training staff says, but I want to get back out there,” Brantley said. “I miss being with my teammates.”
Brantley in left field with newly signed Michael Bourn in center and right fielder Drew Stubbs, acquired from Cincinnati, are expected to give the Indians one of the fastest and best defensive outfields in the game.
“I’m glad to be part of it,” he said. “Hopefully, they won’t hit balls out there because we have a pitching staff that throws a lot of sinkers and gets ground balls. If they hit it out there, hopefully nothing drops.”