Brantley could be limited for rest of spring

Indians being cautious as outfielder recovers from surgery

Brantley could be limited for rest of spring

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are still in the process of determining the best approach to Michael Brantley's schedule over the next week. If it looks as if being on the disabled list to start the season would benefit the left fielder, he might be limited to Minor League games for the rest of Spring Training.

"We've talked to Brant about it," Indians manager Terry Francona said Thursday. "It's possible. We'll see."

The issue at hand is that Friday represents the cutoff date for a retroactive DL stint, meaning any Cactus League appearances after that point would push a player's activation-eligibility date deeper into April. If Brantley is kept in Minor League games, though, he could be activated as early as the April 8-10 series against the White Sox.

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Brantley, who went a combined 1-for-5 with a home run in his games on Saturday and Monday, was held out of the Indians' Cactus League lineup on Wednesday and Thursday. He is not in the plans for Friday's Major League game either. The Indians' training staff wanted to provide a handful of rest days for Brantley, who is coming back from November surgery to repair a labral tear in his right shoulder.

"I just don't know that it was expected that he'd be almost ready to play," Francona said. "He's so far ahead of schedule."

Worth noting

• Switch-hitter Jose Ramirez hit .202 (.574 OPS) against lefty pitching last season and has hit .243 (.621 OPS) from the right side in his career. That has made his showing against southpaws this spring (4-for-8 with three home runs) one of the highlights of camp for Cleveland's evaluators.

"It's been so encouraging just watching him hit right-handed," Francona said. "You don't like [to say you're] surprised, but I don't know that we really saw that in there. Some of those balls are going a long way."

• Prior to pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of Thursday night's 5-5 tie vs. the Dodgers, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall had not played in a Cactus League game since March 14 because of a right forearm issue. Francona said Chisenhall was fine and only out of the starting lineup due to Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw being on the mound. Chisenhall, who took a half-dozen at-bats in a Minor League game Wednesday, is scheduled to play Friday against the D-backs.

• The Indians hoped to stretch right-hander Zach McAllister out to three innings at some point this spring, but the time the reliever missed earlier in camp while sick threw a wrinkle into that plan. Francona said it is not a pressing issue, though, and noted that McAllister, "is throwing the ball fine."

• Catcher Yan Gomes was back in camp Thursday after being sent home the previous day due to illness. Francona said Gomes is doing much better and he will catch for Cleveland in Friday's game. The manager said it was also good to get backup Roberto Perez in back-to-back games.

• Francona noted that he met for a couple hours Thursday with his coaches and members of the front office to continue to discuss the remaining roster moves. Cleveland is still sorting through decisions for the outfield, bullpen and back end of the rotation.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.