The Indians are worried that outfielder Michael Brantley could miss a significant amount of time due to a shoulder injury, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Brantley was activated from the disabled list and made his season debut in late April after undergoing offseason surgery, but he played in only 11 games before landing back on the DL.
Brantley’s offseason surgery repaired a torn labrum. He underwent an MRI in mid-May which showed no new structural damage. When Brantley is healthy, he is one of the most dynamic players in the game, as he posted an .890 OPS with 6.8 WAR in 2014, then followed up with an .859 OPS and led the league with 45 doubles last year.
In Brantley’s absence, the Indians have been using Rajai Davis and Jose Ramirez in left field with Tyler Naquin handling center field.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.