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Astros GM reveals what they are missing with Michael Brantley done for the year

Michael Brantley, Astros

The Houston Astros are one of the best teams in baseball, but they were recently dealt a brutal blow as outfielder Michael Brantley, one of their best hitters, underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to be out for the rest of the year.

GM James Click revealed exactly what the team will be missing with Brantley done. Via Mark Berman:

It’s true. Brantley is true that gifted at the dish. Although he has been sidelined since June and the Astros have continued to consistently win ballgames, there is no question Houston is going to miss him. Before the injury, Brantley was slashing .288 with five homers and 26 RBI in 64 games. He’s not a huge power guy, but the veteran drives the ball to all fields on a regular basis. He’s invaluable.

The Astros’ lineup isn’t exactly a strong suit this season. Yes, they’re 72-41. However, it’s the staff carrying the load, posting a 3.03 ERA as a group. That’s the third best in the Majors. Offensively, it’s Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve leading the pack, both hitting close to .300. Alvarez has 31 homers already and is even in the AL MVP conversation, although it’s essentially Aaron Judge’s for the taking at this point. Houston ranks 11th in runs scored and 17th in team average (.241).

Brantley is in the second year of a two-year, $32 million deal with the Astros. It’s unknown if they will look to bring him back. He’s 35 but still more than capable of contributing. Houston clearly knows that. This is also the second shoulder operation he’s had, undergoing a similar procedure in 2015. Brantley will become a free agent in the winter.