Astros' Brantley undergoes season-ending shoulder surgery
Brantley, who hasn't played since late June, underwent the labral repair procedure Wednesday, general manager James Click told reporters, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Click added that the team didn't know he'd need the surgery until after the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
"There were a lot of different avenues that were taken to try to get Michael back on the field in time for the end of the season," Click said, per Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "And ultimately, after consultation with our trainers and doctors, we ultimately came to the conclusion that this was the right path for him long term, for his health."
The 35-year-old was enjoying another solid season for the Astros, slashing .288/.370/.416 with five homers and 26 RBIs across 64 games. His absence has left a glaring hole in Houston's lineup while also forcing regular designated hitter Yordan Alvarez into the outfield more frequently.
Going forward, the Astros will likely lean on a combination of Alvarez, Chas McCormick, Aledmys Diaz, and Mauricio Dubon in left field. Deadline acquisition Trey Mancini, who's primarily a first baseman but does have some corner outfield experience, could also see time there, Click said, according to McTaggart.
Brantley's spent the last four seasons in Houston where he was a key part of the Astros' AL pennant-winning clubs in 2019 and '21. He nearly left Houston for the Toronto Blue Jays following the 2020 campaign before having a last-second change of heart and re-signing with the Astros. He's scheduled to return to free agency this winter.
A five-time All-Star and one-time Silver Slugger, Brantley is a lifetime .298/.356/.439 hitter over parts of 14 big-league seasons with Houston and Cleveland.