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Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley advances to minor league games on comeback trail

By Paul Hoynes • Mar 15, 2017 at 8:30 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Outfielder Michael Brantley is ready to take another step toward returning to the Indians' lineup.

Manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Brantley will play minor-league games Wednesday and Friday. Brantley, trying to return from a right shoulder injury that limited him to 11 games last season, has already played in four simulated games this spring.

"I don't know how many innings they have him scheduled for on Wednesday," said Francona. "There still has to be a progression and that's what we'll do. I think the trainers felt a minor-league game would be the next best thing."

Francona said Brantley was expected to play left field.

"Brantley's volume (of work, swings, etc.) has been the same as last spring," said Francona. "Every time he reaches a marker, he moves on and not until. That's exactly what we did last year."

Last year, however, Brantley played in just one simulated game before going into Cactus League games. He appeared in two games before his shoulder became irritated and he opened the year on the disabled list.

After Brantley's simulated game on Monday, closer Cody Allen said he was impressed with Brantley's swing after facing him.

"I wasn't there," said Francona. "By all accounts (Brantley's swing) was normal. That's a really good thing. I think that's what you're looking for."


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