The Indians announced their plans regarding recently acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson today, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian was among those to cover (Twitter link). He’ll return to the active roster tomorrow and make his debut with his new new organization.
Donaldson, of course, has missed much of the season and only began a rehab assignment for a calf injury in late August. The Indians nevertheless struck a deal to acquire him from the Blue Jays just before the deadline to add postseason-eligible players from outside the organization. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the DL for some additional rehab work, a delicate dance that had some other organizations expressing skepticism.
The 32-year-old Donaldson is a pure rental piece for the Cleveland organization, which has already stamped its ticket to the postseason as a practical matter. In other words, the entirety of the transaction was about getting Donaldson up to full speed by the time the calendar flips to October.
As it turns out, the veteran third baseman with have an 18-game stretch of major-league playing time before he’s tasked with performing under the game’s brightest lights. The immediate plan is to put him in the lineup on Tuesday and then give him a bench spot the next game before bringing him back to the starting lineup on Friday. How things go from there remains to be seen.
Unsurprisingly, the Indians also say they’ll use Donaldson at his accustomed hot corner. That means that star Jose Ramirez will move to second base, bumping Jason Kipnis into the center field mix. The expectation, per Francona, is that this will be a permanent positional shift (at least, that is, for the remainder of the season).
It all seems to be lining up nicely for the Indians, who may well have added a superstar-level performer to their lineup at a relative pittance of a price. Of course, that assumes that the fiery veteran is able not only to stay healthy but also to return to his once-lofty performance levels, which had trended down somewhat earlier in the year. He has certainly given every sign of life possible in his brief minor-league action. In 15 rehab plate appearances, Donaldson is hitting a cool .417/.533/.917 with two dingers, three walks, and nary a strikeout.
In other news out of Cleveland, righty Trevor Bauer — another key rehabbing player — may be ready to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. (Also via Bastian, on Twitter.) That could put him on track to be ready to go by the time the postseason gets underway, in a relief role at least, but it’s still a tight window.
Right after the series with the Blue Jays….. I actually read somewhere (can’t find where) that this was his choice.
Donaldson chose Cleveland over other teams? Or do you mean Donaldson wanted to be called up?
No, he is saying that Donaldson asked Cleveland not to activate him until after their series with the Blue Jays was finished. It looks like since the Indians already have pretty much wrapped up a playoff spot, obliged him.
Well then that’s bs for all of the players on the Altoona Curve who lost their AA playoff series partially due to having to play against Josh Donaldson.
Dat New New in honor of Cleveland’s own Kid Cudi. Jeff just representin’
Post-trade, he played four games, one with AAA Columbus, and three with Class AA Akron, and went 3-for-12 with two home runs — including a grand slam —
*I excluded minor league stats with Toronto, they became null and void the second CLE placed him on 10 day DL immediately after trade
Are you trying to imply he was injured further post-trade? What are you saying here?
I’m not counting it. He was traded injured; adding his Toronto minor league #’s, Some which include A+ games, inflate his MiLB stats.
Null and void? Thanks commish
Like the Tribe for the WS. Donaldson or no Donaldson. They have the defense to win a series. They have the pitching to win a series. They run the bases to win a series. They get on base and move runners along to win a series. They have been positioning themselves to peak starting in October for 3 months now. And as happened in tennis yesterday, the east coast elites – in this case the Yankees and Red Sox – are already screaming, pointing fingers and melting down because they are supposed to win. Darn it, they are entitled.
Francona’s got this.
Houston…you have to beat Houston first. Good luck with that.
The Astros have to beat the Indians. Good luck with that.
They’re only historically great and the defending champs. Lololol.
After winning one year?
The other day some person wrote that the 2018 Red Sox were the best team in 60 years. ? The first thing I thought of was Charlie Finley’s 70’s A’s. And the Big Red Machine that they beat. And of course the Jeter/Mariano Yankees.
The Astros won the season series 4-3 in May. Indians were missing a number of players out injured, and they were playing poor baseball.
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Tito has them about ready for the playoffs. Will be a good series, but the Indians play better baseball.
May I add – much as I like him, what happened to Correa this year? I thought he was Houston’s best player, and the best SS in MLB. Is he playing hurt? Lindor has passed him (with Mondesi coming). And Keuchel is not as dominant.
Mondesi? Uhm what?
I am hoping to see Oakland and Cleveland in a series. JD had some rough things to say about Oakland and Billy Beane before and after he was traded. I bet he eats his wheaties before each game of that series (if it happens).
They have a hell of a team, the Indians, I count them in!
They are never discussed that much bcos of Houston and Boston. These games are going to be awesome.
Cleveland engaging in a little gamesmanship with this trade?
Good for the Tribe. The postseason looks like its going to be damn exciting this year.
Gamesmanship? More like crying sour grapes from the haves (Yankees and RedSox) when the have-nots roll the dice on a deal.
If you look thru Josh Donaldson’s career transactions. One will see the trade from Oakland to Toronto. One player Brett Lawrie is in there. I can remember the winter of 2012 on here, where Jay’s fans were calling Lawrie the next MVP…
Please put Kipnis at 1B and sit the struggling Alonso. Also, Bauer needs to start. Put Sunshine in the pen for the playoffs, if necessary.
Clevinger in the pen over Bieber? Sunshine’s ERA, WHIP and peripheral stats are much better than Bieber’s.
And if Bauer can’t start, then Clevinger NEEDS to.
Guess I’ve taken too many pain pills today, because I completely forgot about Bieber. But I guess it depends on how many Chewy goes with as starters. I’m hoping he doesn’t screw up like usual and pitch guys on less than usual rest. I still believe that’s what cost us the WS. As for Outage, I won’t put anything past Bauer. Dude is tough as nails.
Tito had to pitch that way in 2016, we had 2 starters healthy and Bauer with a bum pinky. what did you expect to happen
Merritt should have started against the Cubs. He did great against Toronto, and the Cubs had never faced him, either.
the Cubs would have ate him up, I liked Merritt, it was a good story but in the world series you take what closer to a sure thing when you need to and it was working we were up 3-1
So what you’re saying is that you can see the future?
It may have cost them in 2016, but pitching Merritt in the WS (with a 2-1 lead) is much more risky than ALCS (with a 3-1 lead).
It definitely cost them the ALDS last year, hopefully Tito goes with a four-man rotation this year.
Or put Yandy at first. He’s proven that he deserves regular at bats.
yandy gives the pitcher too much of a area to attack him with his distance from plate. playoff pitching will eat him up
Kipnis at first is a great idea, Cleveger need to start regardless, he didn’t do great in the pen in last years playoffs. Bauer can help either way, but prefer him as a starter with Bieber in the pen
Too little, too late. Tribe out in three.