The Houston Astros comfortably lead the AL West division and have the best record in the junior circuit.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t miss a star player in the event he has to miss considerable time.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened this week.
On Friday, the team made the announcement that most fans didn’t want to hear: Michael Brantley won’t be able to play in 2022 anymore.
“Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley underwent an arthroscopic labral repair on his right shoulder, General Manager James Click announced today. As a result of the surgery, Brantley will miss the rest of the season,” the Astros’ official Twitter account reported.
Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley underwent an arthroscopic labral repair on his right shoulder, General Manager James Click announced today. As a result of the surgery, Brantley will miss the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/zrOyceu9TD
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 12, 2022
Brantley has been on the shelf since June 27 with his shoulder ailment.
The Astros Will Miss Brantley’s Production In The Lineup, Particularly In October
One of the toughest hitters to strike out in the American League, Brantley was having a fine season before going down.
He was slashing .288/.370/.416 with a 129 wRC+, which is a metric that measures offensive performance considering an average value of 100.
Brantley, therefore, had been 29 percent better than the league average.
He wasn’t showing too much power (“only” five home runs in 277 plate appearances), but he was getting on base at a high clip, something that resulted in lots of runs because he had a strong lineup behind him.
The Astros are well-equipped to manage Brantley’s absence, but they will undoubtedly feel his absence, especially on the biggest stage of all: the postseason.
He is expected to make a full recovery eventually, but the Astros will have to move on without him.