PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Right after spending his total career with the Cleveland Indians, Michael Brantley likened signing up for the Houston Astros to heading to a new high university.
Individuals initial working day butterflies immediately dissipated, and the outfielder is fitting in famously with his new teammates. He has already moved into a management job on this veteran staff.
“One of the ideal issues about this locker space is when I came in, everybody was ready to enable and make me truly feel relaxed and chat,” he mentioned. “You come in every early morning, you search close to and everybody’s smiling and participating in cards, and it’s just a wonderful ambiance all-close to that they developed.”
The totally free agent outfielder signed a $32 million, two-12 months contract with Houston in December after spending his initial 10 seasons with the Indians.
Supervisor AJ Hinch has admired Brantley and is just as impressed after viewing him up shut for the earlier few of weeks.
“He matches in beautifully,” Hinch mentioned. “He could walk in all 30 clubhouses and instantly garner the respect that he deserves. He’s pretty skilled. He’s pretty dependable.”
Houston wasn’t lacking in veteran management with a staff which contains Jose Altuve, George Springer, Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel. Brantley has continue to managed to make a mark.
“He’s immediately turn out to be a pretty crucial human being in our clubhouse,” Hinch mentioned. “He’s a person I know our placement gamers will search up to or will search to when it arrives to maintaining the harmony that it requires to be a placement player for us.”
The career .295 hitter gives the Astros an update to an outfield anchored by Springer and provides a left-handed bat to a predominantly ideal-handed lineup. He’s loved camp so considerably and employed it as a opportunity to bond with his new teammates on and off the discipline.
“The total target of spring instruction is acquiring a marriage with your teammates and acquiring relaxed with reads and breaks and just acquiring back again into baseball condition,” he mentioned. “But also studying what the male needs future to you and studying how you can enable and what you can do to make your teammates much better.”
The 3-time All-Star strike .309 with 17 homers, 36 doubles and 76 RBIs in 143 online games very last time, creating 134 starts off in left discipline. His ideal time came in 2014, when he finished 3rd in AL MVP voting after hitting 20 homers with 97 RBIs — both equally career highs.
He’s enthusiastic about the possibility of assisting the Astros acquire one more World Collection after they took their initial title in 2017. And with the group of fellas he’s signing up for, he will be mindful to simply be himself as a substitute of seeking to do far too significantly to wow his new teammates.
“You know how superior everybody is in this locker space so I’m just heading to come in and try to do precisely what I’m carrying out, and if that aids the staff acquire online games that’s all I treatment about,” he mentioned.