Astros’ Michael Brantley may return soon but limited to designated hitter role

Texas Sports Nation // Astros

Michael Brantley, who entered batting practice on Tuesday, may be limited to a designated hitter role when he returns from the injured list.

Karen Warren / Staff Photographer

Michael Brantley could be activated “in the next few days” but could be limited to designated hitter duties, Astros manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday.

Brantley missed his 16th game on Tuesday with what the team described as “pain in his right knee.” The Astros are refusing to make their veteran outfielder available for interviews while he is on the injured list.

Brantley trained at batting ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Rays and tested his troublesome right knee in left field. Baker acknowledged that Brantley may not be ready to play in defense, which could lead to an increased left-field role during the playoffs for Yordan Alvarez.

“It will at least be available and hopefully lively,” Baker said. “His stroke is such that he never really loses it, but it’s a bit offbeat. We’ll take this for nothing, not from Michael Brantley.

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