josh donaldson yankees
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Has third baseman Josh Donaldson played his last game with the Yankees? It’s quite possible. However, it has nothing to do with general manager Brian Cashman making a decision he should’ve made months ago.

Donaldson last appeared in a game on July 15th in Colorado against the Rockies. He hasn’t played since because of a strained calf that appears to be more than a minor injury. According to’s Randy Miller, a Yankees doctor called it a Grade 2-plus strain, while an independent doctor called it a Grade-3 strain.

So, the right-handed hitter likely won’t be healthy and ready for game action for at least 2-3 months. And that would be a best-case scenario. But if New York puts him on the Jacoby Ellsbury rehab timeline again, then we’ve definitely seen the last of Donaldson in Yankee pinstripes.

You never want to see a player go down with an injury, especially when it’s one that will appear to sideline them for multiple months. When it came to Donaldson playing for the Yankees, though, it just wasn’t working. What this injury does for Cashman is give him an excuse to put JD on the Injured List and not have to make any “hard” roster decisions because of his big paycheck.

And if New York needs his roster spot at some point, the nature of this situation could easily transfer him to the 60-day Injured List.

Despite just 120 plate appearances, Donaldson currently ranks sixth on the squad with 10 home runs. That’s great, but those were the only types of hits he was registering. The 2015 AL MVP had collected just 15 total base knocks before getting hurt. His triple slash is also an anemic .142/.225/.434.

This sequence of events is tough for Donaldson. You’d have to imagine the 37-year-old is trying to get at least one more solid year under the sun as a big leaguer. But for the Yankees, this will help them get out of their own way. During Donaldson’s starts, he was slotted below sixth in the batting order just once. Of the 34 games he appeared in, he served as the fourth, fifth, or sixth hitter 27 times.

That’s like how the Mets are — for whatever reason — still slotting Daniel Vogelbach into the middle of their own lineup. Just insanity. I understand you need to try and get guys going, but come on now.

We wish the best for Donaldson in recovery and hope he gets the closure he desires as a baseball player. But we can at least be thankful that manager Aaron Boone will have to pencil someone else in at third base every night for the rest of this season.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.