Indians OF Michael Brantley to start season on disabled list

Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases on a solo home run during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on April 25, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Astros defeated the Indians 4-2. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley will start the season on the disabled list as he slowly recovers from ankle surgery.

Brantley has been limited to 101 games the past two seasons because of injuries and the two-time All-Star will begin 2018 on the DL. The 30-year-old began playing in spring training games only a few days ago, and the team doesn’t want to rush him back. Brantley homered in the first at-bat of his first start last week.

With Brantley not ready, outfielder Tyler Naquin will be on Cleveland’s opening-day roster.

Brantley bounced back last season after playing in just 11 games in 2016. He made the All-Star team and was having a strong season before injuring his ankle on Aug. 8. He finished batting .299 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in 90 regular-season games.

Brantley did play in the AL division series, but batted just .091 (1 for11) against New York.