Featured Posts | Twins

Help is on the way: Josh Donaldson expected to return to Twins in "a day or two"

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins
Feb 23, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson (24) looks on during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — Josh Donaldson’s month-long absence from the Twins’ lineup could end as early as Wednesday.
Manager Rocco Baldelli said before the Twins’ 3-2 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday that Donaldson should be able to rejoin the team “in a matter of a day or two.” Donaldson has been out since he left a July 31 game against Cleveland at Target Field because of a right calf strain. The Twins will complete a three-game series against Chicago on Wednesday before having an off day Thursday. Minnesota will then start a five-game series against Detroit with a doubleheader on Friday at Target Field.
Donaldson, who has been working out and playing in intrasquad games at the Twins’ alternate site in St. Paul, has “been doing great and moving around very well,” Baldelli said.
Derek Falvey, the Twins’ president of baseball operations, has acknowledged that team has been very cautious with Donaldson. There is good reason for this, considering Donaldson’s past history with calf problems.
He missed 38 games because of a right calf strain while with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017, but still hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 78 RBIs in 113 games that season. However, his 2018 season, split between the Blue Jays and Cleveland, was derailed by injuries, including right shoulder inflammation and a left calf strain. He played 36 games with Toronto and 16 after being traded to Cleveland on Aug. 31. The week that Donaldson injured his calf against Cleveland, he acknowledged in an Instagram post that he’s torn “both of my calves a total of seven times in two years.”
Donaldson joined Atlanta last season as a free agent and hit .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs in 155 games. That earned him NL Comeback Player of the Year honors. The 34-year-old signed a four-year, $92 million free agent contract with the Twins this offseason. Donaldson was slashing .182/.296/.318 with a home run and two RBIs in seven games before he was injured. His bat and veteran presence could provide a big boost to a team that had lost six consecutive games entering Tuesday.
The Twins also got center fielder Byron Buxton (left shoulder inflammation) and starter Michael Pineda (suspension) back for Tuesday’s game. Buxton robbed White Sox slugger Edwin Encarnacion of a home run and got the winning hit, and Pineda gave up two runs and six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six strong innings in his first start of the season.