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Astros GM: ‘No update’ on recovery status of Michael Brantley

Astros GM James Click has “no update” on the status of Michael Brantley, who has now missed close to six weeks due to right shoulder discomfort. In an interview with team radio broadcaster Robert Ford (hat tip to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle), Click said that “with every passing day, you have to kind of take an honest look at” whether or not Brantley’s 2022 season could be over, though the Astros are still hopeful that Brantley can eventually return.

Brantley himself told Rome and other reporters earlier this week that he hadn’t started swinging, and was “day by day” with “no timetable” about when he could start resuming baseball activities. Considering the 35-year-old’s lengthy history of shoulder surgeries, there isn’t much Brantley or the Astros can do but wait and see if his discomfort lessens, since trying to force the issue could make things worse. Houston has missed Brantley’s bat in the lineup, and this injury uncertainty also casts a shadow over Brantley’s free agent market this winter. The veteran is in the final two months of his two-year, $32M deal with the Astros.

More updates on other injury situations from around baseball…

  • Almost exactly one year ago, Tyler Glasnow underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his 2021 season and putting his participation in doubt for the 2022 campaign. However, Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that Glasnow is “fully healthy” and said “the chance is not zero” that Glasnow could help the Rays before the year is out. Considering that Glasnow is still at least a couple of weeks away from throwing to live hitters, mid-September might be the earlier he can return, and even then would likely be limited to bullpen work.
  • Joey Lucchesi is another TJ patient who could factor into the 2022 season, as Mets manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo and other reporters that “if [Lucchesi] can continue down the path he’s on, he’s going to be an option for us.” Lucchesi underwent his surgery in late June 2021, and he has been working out at the Mets’ spring facility in Florida. The left-hander posted some solid numbers as a starter for the Padres and Mets over his four Major League seasons, but would also probably return as a reliever, given that he’d need less time to build up his arm for relief innings than starter’s innings. Since New York in thin on left-handed relievers, Lucchesi or David Peterson could add some balance to the bullpen down the stretch and into the postseason.
  • Kevin Pillar’s season was thought to be over when he underwent shoulder surgery in June, but the Dodgers outfielder was recently cleared to start baseball activities. “I would definitely call it best case scenario,” Pillar told Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times, and his aim is to at least give the Dodgers something to think about when building their late-season roster and their playoff rosters. “It’s trying to get myself healthy, prove that I’m healthy, get some games under belt and put myself in position where…I’m available,” Pillar said. The veteran outfielder signed a minor league deal with L.A. in March and appeared in only four games with the Dodgers before suffering a fractured left shoulder.
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