March 23rd, 2017

Blue Jays star Donaldson plays for 1st time since injury


By Mark Didtler, The Associated Press on March 20, 2017.

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Toronto Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson made his spring training debut Monday, going 0 for 2 with a walk in his first game since injuring his right calf more than a month ago.

The 2015 AL MVP hurt himself Feb. 17 while running sprints. He was the designated hitter in an 8-2 loss to Minnesota, and is scheduled to play at his normal third base spot Wednesday.

“It was nice to get on the field and run a little bit,” Donaldson said. “As far as how my calf is feeling right now, it feels normal. That’s what we want.”

Donaldson faced Tyler Duffey twice, striking out in the first inning and then walking on a 3-2 pitch. In his final at-bat against Adalberto Mejia in the sixth, Donaldson reached when his pop fly to shallow centre was misplayed for a an error.

“A really big day for him and the ballclub,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “We’ve been waiting for this day. It’s a big step forward.”

“It’s huge for the team that he’s on the field,” Gibbons said.

Donaldson hit .284 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs last season. He has been an All-Star in three straight seasons.

Second baseman Devon Travis, who had surgery on his right knee in the off-season and is slowed by a bone bruise, played defence for the first time in a minor league game. He could rejoin the Blue Jays for Friday’s game with Boston.

“I get to be a real baseball player,” Travis said.

Donaldson and Travis were both designated hitters in minor league games last week.

Travis ran the bases at full speed Sunday and could be ready for the start of the regular season.

CARRERA’S COLLISION

Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was injured in the seventh during a collision with second baseman Darwin Barney on Quintin Berry’s double into shallow right field.

“Barney’s knee hit him in the thigh,” Gibbons said. “I don’t think it will be a big deal.”

Carrera walked gingerly off the field after being examined by team trainers.


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