Third baseman Josh Donaldson left the Blue Jays’ game against the Rays on Sunday with right calf tightness, per an announcement from Toronto. Donaldson previously sat out most of spring training with a calf strain, so it’s possible this ailment will force him to the disabled list. The 2015 AL MVP and three-time All-Star has been eminently durable since his first full season, 2013, having played at least 155 games in each of the past four years. Donaldson’s once again performing at an elite level early this year (.348/.444/.652 in 27 plate appearances), but the 1-4 Jays have scuffled in spite of that.
Here’s more from the AL…
- Yordano Ventura’s life and untimely death will always be on the minds of his teammates, and the Royals’ mourning process has, in a way, begun anew as the team starts the season without Ventura around every day, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes. Infielder Cheslor Cuthbert had made a routine of goofing around with Ventura during rides on the team plane, though when the Royals flew out of Spring Training last week, “when I looked, I didn’t see him,” Cuthbert said. “That’s when I realized: ‘He’s not here anymore. It’s hard to accept that.’ ” Dodd’s piece contains many memories and stories about Ventura from his many friends on the team and is well worth a full read.
- The Tigers put a big focus on pitching in the 2013 amateur draft, taking college pitchers with their first seven picks and selecting arms with 27 of 41 overall picks. Almost four years later, however, MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery notes that Detroit has gotten little return from the hurlers in that draft class. Of those initial seven pitchers, only Buck Farmer and righty Jeff Thompson are still in the organization, as the other five have been traded, released, or have retired (second-rounder Kevin Ziomek). Farmer, Brewers reliever Corey Knebel, and current Yankees Joe Mantiply and Chad Green are the only Tigers picks from that entire 41-person class who have seen any big league playing time.
- One week into the season, the Athletics have already made a change in their rotation. Right-hander Jesse Hahn will replace righty Raul Alcantara, who will head to the bullpen, reports Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area (video link). Alcantara started for the A’s on Friday and, in two innings, allowed eight earned runs on four hits and two walks in a loss to the Rangers. Hahn relieved Alcantara in that game and fired six innings of seven-hit, two-run ball. His placement in the rotation might not last long, with Sonny Gray potentially in line to return from from a lat strain by the end of the month.