By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
After re-aggravating his right calf while running the bases during Toronto’s 2–1 loss to Baltimore on Thursday, Josh Donaldson has been placed on the 10-day disabled list and won’t be eligible to re-join the team until after April 24th.
The Blue Jays third baseman missed all but eight of the Toronto’s 30 grapefruit league contests this spring after feeling his calf “grab” at him shortly before position players were scheduled to report to camp in February.
While the severity of his injury remains unknown to the public, it is enough to justify losing the slugger for a brief period of time.
In a lineup that features seven regulars who are currently batting well under the Mendoza line on the season, Donaldson, with his .310 batting average and OPS of 1.015, had been one of the bright spots for the 1–8 Blue Jays in 2017.
“Today, I’m walking a little gingerly. There’s some soreness, but there’s not quite the swelling that was there the last time.” Donaldson told reporters prior to Friday’s first pitch. “This is new for me. This is the first time I’m going to go on the DL in my career.”
Since being traded to Toronto ahead of the 2015 season, Donaldson has played in 313 of the Blue Jays 324 games. Before that, he rang off two consecutive seasons of 158 game appearances with Oakland after taking the field in a total of 75 games once sticking with the A’s in 2012.
In order to supplement their roster, the Blue Jays selected 31-year-old utility man Chris Coghlan from triple-A Buffalo prior to formally announcing Donaldson’s placement on the DL, Friday.
A veteran of 765 contests since making his debut with the Florida Marlins in 2009, the former National League Rookie of the Year has spent parts of the last eight seasons in the majors while combining to post a career slashline of .260/.335/.402 across 2,817 plate appearances.
In addition to helping Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins fill in for Donaldson, the left-handed swinging Coghlan may also see some playing time in either left field or second base as current starters Steve Pearce (.174) and Devon Travis (.088) have both got off to slow starts at the plate.
When asked which position he prefers, the former Cub dryly responded by saying “in the lineup”, hinting that he doesn’t care where he plays as long as he can help contribute.
Through seven games with the Herd, the 2016 World Series Champion picked up five hits and drove in four runs. In all, four of his starting assignments came in left field for the International League North-leading Bisons.
In order to clear a spot for Coghlan on the Jays’ 40-man roster, Toronto was forced to cut ties with Juan Graterol on Friday. Graterol, 28, had six hits in 14 at-bats with the Bisons this season while splitting time behind the dish with fellow catchers Mike Ohlman and Luke Maile.
- Follow Andrew Hendriks on Twitter (@77hendriks)