HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Michael Brantley, welcome to the 2023 season.
The Astros’ left fielder, who hasn’t seen action in Major League Baseball since June 26, 2022, was reinstated from the 60-day injured list on Tuesday, hours before Houston plays the second of a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox.
Brantley is getting the start in his customary portion of the outfield, marking his first fielding start since June 24, 2022. He’s due to bat sixth in the lineup.
Outfielder Corey Julks was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land as part of Brantley’s return. The club also designated pitcher Jake Cousins for assignment.
Brantley began a rehab assignment two weeks ago with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, marking what appeared to be a road back to the roster. Brantley hit a two-run home run in his initial rehab game.
The 36-year-old has not played in a Major League game in 14 months due to a nagging shoulder ailment.
The video above is from a December 2018 report on Brantley’s arrival in Houston.
Brantley underwent surgery in August 2022 to repair his labrum and immediately entered the recovery stage. The team hoped to have him back on the field earlier in the 2023 season, even having him take nine rehab games, but Brantley was shut down for baseball activities due to what manager Dusty Baker called a “minor” setback.
“(It’s) very frustrating. You rehab all offseason, put in the work every single day and do everything the right way and sometimes it just doesn’t work out to your favor,” Brantley said back in May. “But at the same time, I won’t stop. I’ll keep my head down, continue to keep working and be out there as soon as I can with these guys.”
After the 2022 season, Brantley re-signed with the ‘Stros on a one-year, $12 million deal as a free agent.
In Brantley’s absence this season, Baker has worked in a timeshare between Yordan Alvarez, Julks, Chas McCormick, and Mauricio Dubon to man left field.
This is Brantley’s fifth season in Houston. He was signed as a free agent before the 2019 season. He earned two of his five All-Star selections in the 2019 and 2021 seasons.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)