The Yankees announced Monday that third baseman Josh Donaldson has been placed on the Covid-19-related injured list. Miguel Andujar has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as a substitute player in his place. Donaldson hasn’t yet tested positive but reported symptoms to the team. He, Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka (all on the Covid list) are “more than just not feeling well,” says manager Aaron Boone (Twitter link via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). “They feel sick. … They’re not available to play.”
That, however, isn’t the Donaldson news that’s the primary topic of conversation today. Major League Baseball announced that Donaldson has received a one-game suspension after making a quip to Yankees shortstop Tim Anderson wherein Donaldson called him “Jackie.” Anderson, White Sox skipper Tony La Russa and several of Anderson’s teammates were quick to call the comment racist, while Donaldson after the game sought to play it off as an inside joke through which he meant no harm. Donaldson plans to appeal the suspension, according to the league.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks didn’t mince words when asked how the Sox clubhouse felt about Donaldson’s explanation, calling it “bullshit” and telling reporters (video link via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times): “Usually you have inside jokes with people you get along with, not people that don’t get along at all.”
Fellow reliever Joe Kelly, who was doing a radio appearance with the Parker & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score at the time the suspension broke, expressed disbelief. “One game?” Kelly asked rhetorically. “I got eight games for making a silly face at Carlos Correa.”
Major League Baseball’s statement on the matter was as follows:
“MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident. There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline.”
In other Yankees-related news on the day, Boone said that an MRI on closer Aroldis Chapman’s ailing Achilles tendon came back clean (Twitter link via Lindsey Adler of The Athletic). A trip to the injured list, however, remains a possibility for Chapman. The team is still weighing its options. The 34-year-old Chapman’s velocity, strikeout rate and walk rate have all gone the wrong direction this year. After opening the season with a dozen scoreless outings, Chapman has yielded at least one in each of his past five appearances, causing his ERA to jump to 3.86.
Meanwhile, it seems as though lefty JP Sears will make the first start of his Major League career tomorrow. Boone further divulged that the 26-year-old, who tossed a pair of scoreless relief innings in the Majors and has a 0.83 ERA and 30-to-2 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 Triple-A frames this season, will make a spot start during tomorrow’s doubleheader (Twitter link via Hoch).