Tag: Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson Injury: Updates on Blue Jays Star’s Hip and Return

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was dealing with a hip injury that caused him to miss three games; however, he is ready to return. 

Continue for updates. 

Donaldson Active vs. Angels

Thursday, Sept. 15

Donaldson was listed in Thursday’s lineup batting second as the designated hitter, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Donaldson to Undergo Testing

Wednesday, Sept. 14

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told reporters Donaldson will undergo an MRI on his hip, adding the injury has not “significantly” responded to treatment, and there is no timeline for his return.

Donaldson Vital to Jays’ Playoff Push

In his second full season in Toronto, Donaldson is in the midst of another brilliant campaign. He’s hitting .284/.400/.552 with 34 home runs and 92 runs batted in. While it’s an uphill battle for him to win two straight MVPs, Donaldson remains optimistic about the possibility. 

“I feel like it’s kind of hard to do that back-to-back,” Donaldson said, per Steven Loung of Sportsnet. “You don’t see a lot of guys run the ship back-to-back. Look, Manny [Machado’s] having a great year, [Jose] Altuve’s having a great year. Fact of the matter is there’s time.”

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Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson Records 1st Career 3-Home Run Game

Fact: Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson hit three homers against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. It was the 2015 American League MVP’s first career three-homer game. 

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Donaldson Becomes 16th Blue Jay to Hit 3 Homers in a Game

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson recorded the first three-homer game of his career in Sunday’s 9-6 win over the Minnesota Twins, becoming the 16th player in franchise history to go deep three times in a single game, per Sportsnet Stats.

Ten of those 16 players have accomplished the feat in a home game, with Donaldson joined by Edwin Encarnacion, John Buck, Frank Thomas, Vernon Wells, Carlos Delgado, Chris Woodward, Joe Carter, Ernie Whitt and Otto Velez, per Sportsnet Stats.

While most of those players enjoyed extended stints hitting in the middle of Toronto’s lineup, Woodward never reached 400 plate appearances in his 12 big league seasons, and Buck only played one season (2010) with the Jays, though it did end up as the finest campaign (20 homers) of his 11-year career.

It’s a bit surprising that it took so long for Donaldson to homer three times in a game, as the 2015 American League MVP has gone deep at least 24 times in each of the last three seasons, topping out at 41 last year.

He has a reasonable shot to set a new career-best mark, currently boasting 33 home runs with 32 games remaining on Toronto’s schedule.

At the very least, Donaldson is right in the middle of the MVP conversation, ranking first in the AL in runs (105), fourth in home runs and sixth in RBI (91), supplemented by a .294 batting average, .407 on-base percentage and .578 slugging percentage.

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A Hot Josh Donaldson Could Give Blue Jays the Playoff-Race Edge

With a good September, the Toronto Blue Jays could repeat as American League East champions.

With a good September, Josh Donaldson could repeat, too.

The Blue Jays moved back into first place with Friday night’s 15-8 rout of the Minnesota Twins, as their rivals in Baltimore and Boston both lost. Donaldson may not have moved into first place in the MVP race with his 30th home run, but he could be setting up for the kind of month that would put him there.

He’s already got a better case than you might think.

His traditional numbers aren’t as flashy as the ones that won him the MVP last year. He almost certainly won’t get to the 41 home runs and 123 RBI he had in 2015 (he’s at 30 and 85 with 34 games remaining).

But Donaldson’s .958 OPS is actually higher than the .939 he won with last year.

As for his value, check this out: Twenty-five of Donaldson’s 30 home runs have come in Blue Jay wins, as have 70 of his 85 RBI. He’s a .343 hitter when they win and a .216 hitter when they don’t.

Obviously, most hitters do better when their teams win. If Donaldson hit better in a few of those games the Blue Jays lost, at all those times when their entire offense stalled, they’d have a much bigger division lead.

The point still holds. When Donaldson hits, the Blue Jays tend to win. If he hits in September the way he hit in June (1.193 OPS) and July (1.019), you like the Blue Jays’ chances in the East.

In those two months, when Donaldson was red-hot, the Blue Jays ranked second and fourth in the major leagues in runs, at more than five a game. This month, which until this week hasn’t been one of Donaldson’s best, the Jays were averaging barely four runs a game (27th in the majors), before Friday night’s explosion.

Jose Bautista missed two weeks with soreness in his left knee, before returning Thursday. Kevin Pillar was out with a thumb injury, before coming back Tuesday.

Their returns should help the Blue Jays lineup, but the most significant return this week could be that of Donaldson’s home run swing. He had homered just once in 16 games before Thursday and drove in only five runs in that span, as he played with a jammed thumb.

He connected off Jered Weaver on Thursday and connected again off Twins starter Pat Dean in the second inning Friday. After never hitting 30 in a season before coming to Toronto, Donaldson has done it two straight years for the Blue Jays.

As of now, he probably isn’t the 2016 MVP. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, once again leading the league in WAR (8.0, the way Baseball-Reference.com calculates it), will get some votes. Mookie Betts, who has helped carry the Red Sox into the AL East race, is getting some support.

Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros has a big lead in the batting race. David Ortiz of the Red Sox leads in OPS (1.042). Donaldson’s teammate, Edwin Encarnacion, leads with 102 RBI.

With just over a month to go, it’s a race still to be won—sort of like the AL East.

As I wrote Thursday, the division race is a tough one to call. The Blue Jays aren’t the exciting newcomers, and they didn’t make the big midseason deals like the ones last year for David Price and Troy Tulowitzki.

Still, they’re in first place, with just over five weeks to play.

Donaldson isn’t the flashy MVP choice this year, either. He set a Blue Jays record with three walk-off home runs in 2015; he hasn’t hit any of them this year.

His walk total is up, perhaps because pitchers are showing the defending MVP more respect. His RBI total is down, perhaps because there haven’t been as many opportunities.

“They’re trying to take the bat out of my hand more often this year,” Donaldson told Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star.

They don’t want to let Donaldson beat them, and it’s easy to understand why.

But doesn’t that just show how valuable he can be?


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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Josh Donaldson Injury: Updates on Blue Jays Star’s Thumb and Return

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson exited Aug. 17’s game against the New York Yankees with a thumb injury. However, he’s ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Donaldson Active vs. Indians

Sunday, Aug. 21

The Blue Jays announced Donaldson is in the starting lineup against Cleveland.

Donaldson Providing Another Consistent Year at the Plate

Donaldson is having another MVP-caliber season with a .289/.399/.556 slash line and 28 home runs with 6.2 wins above replacement, per FanGraphs.

In addition to being one of the most consistent third basemen in MLB over the past few years, Donaldson has been durable. He appeared in 158 games in each season from 2013 to 2015.

And before Aug. 17’s injury, Donaldson showed few signs of bucking the trend. He played through a strained calf in April and a jammed thumb in June. Otherwise, his health hasn’t presented Toronto with many problems.

As a whole, the Blue Jays have climbed back into the thick of the American League East race. They enter play on Sunday with a 70-53 record, 2.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles and 0.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the division. 

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Josh Donaldson Injury: Updates on Blue Jays Star’s Thumb and Return

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson did not play on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox because of a thumb injury, per Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.

However, he will return to the Blue Jays’ lineup on Sunday, according to Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.

Donaldson was one of the best players in baseball in 2015. His 8.7 WAR was third-highest among qualified position players, and he took home the American League MVP Award for his efforts. The 30-year-old was a big reason the Blue Jays reached the American League Championship Series last year.

Since his first full season with the Oakland Athletics in 2013, Donaldson has been one of the most consistent sluggers in baseball. Here’s where his offensive numbers rank with the rest of the league between 2013 and 2015:

Donaldson didn’t wait to get going in 2016, either, hitting a three-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Blue Jays’ fourth game of the year:

Toronto dodged a bullet when the two-time All-Star hurt his leg in the same game. He only suffered a calf strain and didn’t miss any games. Thankfully for Toronto, this most recent injury proved to be minor as well.


Stats are courtesy of FanGraphs.

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Josh Donaldson Injury: Updates on Blue Jays Star’s Calf and Return

Toronto Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson suffered a calf injury in Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays and is considered day-to-day, according to the team.

Continue for updates.

Donaldson Comes Up Lame Running to 1st Base

Wednesday, April 6

Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com reported on the play Donaldson was injured on, which occurred when he hit a ground ball. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm indicated that Darwin Barney entered to replace Donaldson at third base.

After the game, Donaldson said the injury isn’t serious and he hopes to play Friday against the Boston Red Sox, per Barry Davis of Sportsnet.

The Blue Jays can ill afford to lose Donaldson for extensive time after he hit .297 with 41 home runs, 41 doubles and 123 RBI in 2015. He also posted a sparkling .939 OPS and a career-best 8.8 WAR, per Baseball-Reference.com, and took home the American League MVP for his efforts.

Donaldson finished fifth in all of baseball in homers and second in RBI and was a major reason why the Blue Jays led the league in total runs scored by 127 more than the next closest team last year.

Donaldson is also a two-time All-Star and tallied 11 total defensive runs saved above average in 2015, according to FanGraphs.

Before exiting Wednesday’s contest, Donaldson had accounted for all of his club’s runs to that point on a three-run homer:

Fortunately for Toronto, it has plenty of sluggers to shoulder more of the offensive load without Donaldson, including Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar.

Still, Donaldson is a monster bat and the defending MVP whose injury at this early juncture of the season is discouraging.

Part of what makes the Blue Jays so dangerous is the sheer amount of talent in that lineup, and losing arguably the top piece puts even more pressure on the others. Donaldson drives home plenty of runs, but he also adds protection for his teammates because opposing pitchers can’t afford to pitch around them with the powerful third baseman waiting.

The Blue Jays have World Series aspirations behind that powerful lineup and a solid starting rotation that features Marcus Stroman, but winning it all will be a much more difficult task without a healthy Donaldson mashing home runs.

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MVP Josh Donaldson’s 2-Year Extension Buys Time for Long-Term Megadeal

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Josh Donaldson to a two-year extension worth nearly $29 million Monday night, avoiding salary arbitration. That’s the news, courtesy of Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi

Here’s the simmering subtext: The Jays just bought themselves an opportunity to negotiate a long-term extension with the reigning American League MVP. And they should seize it.

Donaldson asked for $11.8 million for a potential arbitration hearing Feb. 15. Toronto countered with $11.35 million. That small but significant gap could have put the Blue Jays in the uncomfortable position of explaining why one of the best all-around players on the planet wasn’t worth an extra $450,000.

Now, as Davidi noted, “Resolving a potentially sticky situation amicably is sure to rebuild any of the goodwill between Donaldson and the Blue Jays that may have been lost when the sides couldn’t agree on a deal before last month’s filing deadline.”

The warm, fuzzy feelings are back. Donaldson, who made $4.3 million in 2015, got a significant raise, and the defending AL East champs can exhale.

Their work isn’t done, however. Donaldson is still set to hit the open market after the 2018 season. That may seem like a long way off, but the closer it gets, the less likely Donaldson is to sign a deal without testing the free-agent waters.

And if he does that, you can bet other deep-pocketed suitors will come circling. Toronto simply can’t afford—quite literally—to surrender its best player to a bidding war.

OK, let’s pause for a moment to recall the season the Donaldson just had, and the reason why he’s ultimately worth a Fort Knox payday.

If you like WAR, Donaldson’s mark of 8.7 was the third-best in the game, behind only Bryce Harper (9.5) and Mike Trout (9.0), per FanGraphs

If you like defense, Donaldson’s 9.2 ultimate zone rating and 11 defensive runs saved, also per FanGraphs, paint a picture of slick leather at the hot corner.

And if you like the traditional counting stats, take a gander at his 41 home runs, 123 RBI and MLB-leading 122 runs scored. 

By any measure, Donaldson was an absolute beast in 2015. Already a star, he vaulted into the firmament of elite, game-changing talents. He became, in other words, the type of player you build a franchise around.

Yes, at age 30 Donaldson is a bit longer in the tooth than Harper (23), Trout (24) or fellow superstar third baseman Manny Machado (23) of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s still got plenty of potential prime years left, however, and the Jays need to see that he spends them north of the border.

What would a Donaldson megadeal look like? An interesting, if imperfect, comparison is the 10-year, $292 million pact Miguel Cabrera signed with the Detroit Tigers in 2014.

Cabrera, who was just shy of his 31st birthday at the time, boasted an extensive track record and had already won a pair of AL MVP Awards. But he also had more miles on his body and didn’t offer the defensive upside Donaldson does.

A contract approaching that length would obviously be a gamble for the Jays, as they’d be paying Donaldson beyond his age-40 season. And Toronto, with its midlevel payroll, isn’t in the habit of handing out gaudy, headline-grabbing deals. 

Players like Donaldson don’t come around often, though.

The Blue Jays have excited their fanbase with this high-scoring offense and forged an identity as MLB’s big bashers. Other key offensive cogs such as 35-year-old Jose Bautista and 33-year-old Edwin Encarnacion may have shorter shelf lives, but Donaldson could be a building block for years to come.

Here’s what general manager Ross Atkins said about locking up his MVP for the long haul, per Davidi:

There are obviously challenges to that, we have to agree on what that means financially, but we’re going to do everything we can. He is a remarkable player and I can say from watching him, there aren’t many guys like that. It is a whole other level of talent, competitiveness, drive, and it’s not just on offence. A lot of guys talk about Trout, and a lot of guys talk about best players in the game, you can build an organization around Trout; I’ll take Donaldson.

Talk is one thing; signing enormous checks is another. But the Jays are saying the right things. Donaldson is pumped. The conditions are right to make this marriage last.

Toronto avoided arbitration with its best player. That’s a story unto itself, but it might be the beginning of a much longer yarn.


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays Agree on New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is coming off the best season of his career, and the team’s front office has decided to reward the 30-year-old with a new contract. 

According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, Donaldson and the Blue Jays agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth just under $29 million to avoid arbitration on Monday. The Blue Jays announced the deal on Wednesday, via Davidi.

Donaldson tweeted his reaction:

On Thursday, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reported Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said the two sides were “going to work toward a multiyear deal” even though Donaldson was already under team control through 2018.     

To say Donaldson’s 2015 season was a revelation would be selling it short. Although his stock was trending up following a 2014 All-Star selection with the Oakland A’s, Donaldson broke out and captured American League MVP honors as he helped the Blue Jays nab the franchise’s first AL East title since 1993. 

“We tore down a lot of thresholds this organization has had,” Donaldson said after winning the MVP Award, according to ESPN.com. “For us to come out on top…I definitely think that helped.”

Donaldson played 158 games and led the league in runs (122), RBI (123) and total bases (352) while drilling a career-best 41 home runs and batting a stellar .297. Donaldson’s mark of 7.7 offensive wins above replacement also ranked third overall behind Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, each of whom tallied an offensive WAR of 8.9. 

Donaldson ranked third in the majors in total WAR (8.8) among position players—behind National League MVP Harper (9.9) and Trout (9.4).

It would have been understandable if the Blue Jays had opted to retain Donaldson’s services via the arbitration process until their period of team control expired, but his accelerated growth proved worthy of a long-term commitment.

The fresh deal also mitigates the risk that would have accompanied paying Donaldson through arbitration, as CBS Sports’ David Brown wrote in January:

Look ahead to free agency in 2019: After listening to the Jays rip him in arbitration, is it going to make Donaldson more willing to take a “hometown discount” to stay in Toronto? Yeah, it’s not likely that Donaldson will be signing a contract extension with the Jays at that point, and it’s probable that other teams would outbid the Jays in free agency.

Now that Donaldson is locked up, Toronto can focus on trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 1993. The 2015 season proved to be a monumental step forward for a franchise that hadn’t reached the postseason in over two decades, but Donaldson and Co. figure to be eyeing a much bigger leap in the months ahead. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless noted otherwise. Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com. 

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Josh Donaldson Reportedly Agrees to New Contract with Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays and superstar Josh Donaldson have reportedly agreed to a new contract.

The two sides reached a consensus on a two-year, $29 million deal, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. 

Donaldson tweeted about the news:

On Feb. 4, Greg Warren of the Score noted Donaldson was under Toronto’s control through the 2018 season, but the team and the defending American League MVP “are feuding over $450,000,” which would have led to an arbitration hearing if the two sides hadn’t reached an agreement.

Donaldson is a fan favorite in Toronto, and he suggested he would love to stay there the rest of his career during a radio appearance in November (via Warren): “I really love the city, and I could see myself spending my entire career here. I would love to end my career in Toronto. I love playing there; I would love to be able to do something, but I’m not the one calling the shots.”

Warren called Donaldson’s $4.3 million earnings in 2015 “modest” because of his 41 home runs and league-leading 123 RBI.

Outside of the power numbers, Donaldson hit .297 and tallied a career-high OPS of .939 and a career-best 8.8 WAR, per Baseball Reference. The head-turning WAR stat, which was second only to Mike Trout in the American League, was a result of impressive fielding at the hot corner as well as prowess at the plate.

According to FanGraphs, Donaldson posted 11 total defensive runs saved above average at third base last season. He won the MVP Award and helped the Blue Jays reach the American League Championship Series, in which they lost to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals.

There is plenty of pressure on general manager Ross Atkins’ shoulders heading into next season. Though Donaldson has been taken care of, superstars Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are set to be free agents following the 2016 campaign.

That threesome represents the offensive core of the team and was a major reason why the Blue Jays led the majors in runs scored, home runs, RBI, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in 2015. Bautista drilled 40 home runs, and Encarnacion added 39 as part of arguably the most feared trio of sluggers in the majors.

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