Michael Brantley undergoes shoulder surgery, likely to miss Opening Day

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Indians outfielder Michael Brantley injured his right shoulder in mid-September and now he’s undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum, with Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reporting that he faces a recovery timetable of 5-6 months.

Barring a much speedier recovery that means Brantley will likely begin next season on the disabled list and could miss all of April. That’s awfully rough news for a team to be getting in mid-November, because Brantley is coming off back-to-back outstanding seasons in which he rated among the best all-around outfielders in baseball both years.

This year he hit .310 with 15 homers, a league-leading 45 doubles, and an .859 OPS while walking more (60) than he struck out (51) and playing good defense in left field. And he was even better in 2014.

Brantley and the team initially downplayed the shoulder injury, suggesting he wouldn’t need surgery, but now the Indians are facing a month of next season or maybe more without their All-Star outfielder.