Rockies recall Ian Stewart after two-week stay at Triple-A

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Colorado demoting Ian Stewart to the minors after the 26-year-old veteran of 1,300 plate appearances got off to a slow start seemed odd to me and the Rockies have now called him back up from Triple-A just two weeks later.

Stewart predictably knocked around Triple-A pitching, hitting .361 with three homers and a 1.250 OPS in 11 games, and called the two-week demotion “humbling.”

Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez were both given looks as the primary third baseman in Stewart’s absence, but presumably the Rockies aren’t so intent on jerking Stewart around that they’d demote him to the minors and then recall him to do anything but play regularly.

Of course, when you’re demoting multi-year starters to Triple-A because they have 26 poor at-bats to begin a season it becomes tough to predict anything.

Michael Brantley has ankle surgery, to be sidelined 4-5 months

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The Cleveland Indians just announced that outfielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery yesterday, aimed at stabilizing ligaments. He’s expected to be able to resume baseball activities in 4-5 months, which is likely to delay the beginning of his 2018 season.

Brantley only played in 90 games for the Indians in 2017, sitting out most of August and all of September, but returning for the postseason. He injured the ankle in a game against the Rockies on August 8 and it never did get quite right, as his 1-for-11 line in the ALDS suggested. On the season as a whole Brantley hit .299/.357/.444 with nine homers and 52 driven in.

Brantley’s contract expires with the 2017 season, but there is a 2018 team option at a relatively reasonable $11 million. While he has only played 101 games in the past two seasons combined due to injuries, his strong performance from 2012-2015, and his status as a team leader, will likely lead the Indians to exercise that option.