Michael Brantley won’t return this season


Michael Brantley landed on the 15-day disabled list last week with inflammation in his right wrist. It seemed like a fairly minor situation at the time, but only because we didn’t have all the information.

According to the Indians’ official Twitter feed, Brantley was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Sunday morning following further tests on his ailing right arm, like a CT scan and bone scan. The Indians’ medical staff still doesn’t have an exact diagnosis, but they’ve ended the young outfielder’s 2011 season because of the risk of re-injury.

Brantley, 24, turned in a .266/.318/.384 batting line, seven home runs, 46 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 114 games this year. He should be fine by the beginning of spring training next February and is likely to open the 2012 season as Cleveland’s primary left fielder.

The Indians called up Jerad Head to provide outfield depth down the stretch. A 28-year-old from Kansas, he was hitting .284/.338/.526 with 24 homers and 70 RBI in 463 plate appearances at Triple-A Columbus.

UPDATE, 11:40am: The Indians have announced that Brantley will undergo surgery early next week to remove the hamate bone from his right hand. He is fully expected to be ready for spring training next season.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.