As mentioned in Anthony Castrovince’s blog, after Jason Donald was promoted to the Indians major league roster, Trevor Crowe texted him to let him know that he was part of the starting lineup against the Rays on the 18th.

And so the Jason Donald experiment begins.

Many were hoping that he’d get his time in the majors to show himself. After all, we need something good from that Cliff Lee trade; Marson and Carrasco have not done much. Three hours after his flight landed in Tampa Bay, he was ready to go against pitcher David Price.

He led off the third inning with a single to center-right field, and notched the first hit of his major league career. He followed that up with a single to lead off the fifth inning, lined to right field. To make his debut better, he scored on a ground out by Shin-Soo Choo to tie the game at 1-1.

At the end of the fifth, he had as many hits as the rest of the Indians combined. He finished the game with a walk and a ground out, finishing with a .667 average. Donald now has as many hits in the month of May as Luis Valbuena does.

It’s disappointing that we had to lose Asdrubal Cabrera for Jason Donald to get his chance, but he is quickly proving to be a fine addition to the Indians. Yes, I’m aware it’s only been one game, but I can only think of one issue he had.

In the seventh inning, Willy Aybar popped up and both Donald and Jhonny Peralta ran in. The ball fell for an infield single. While the shortstop is technically captain of the team and is inherently the one to call it, Peralta was both right by it and has seniority; he should know what to do in this situation, so for now I’m willing to give a pass to Donald for that play.

We will get a better idea of Donald’s true potential over the next month, but I am happy with what I saw. You can tell that he wants to be there and is willing to make an impression. If he’s good enough we can even move Cabrera to second when he comes back.

Am I being too optimistic with him? Or is the way he played today symbolic of what to expect for the next several weeks? Maybe I’m just happy that someone’s having a multi-hit game for once.

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