Just when you thought the failed Josh Donaldson experiment with the Yankees was over, there might be one final act left. And no, we’re not kidding.
In the middle of July, New York put Donaldson back on the injured list with a calf strain. Initial reports said the injury was somewhere between a Grade-2 and Grade-3 strain. That led to Donaldson landing on the 60-day injured list. It appeared as though his season — and Yankees tenure — had come to a merciful end.
The 37-year-old had struggled to a .142/.225/.434 line with 10 home runs and 15 RBI in 120 plate appearances in 2023.
You’d think that kind of injury would force him to stay away from baseball activities for a while. Well, here he was, taking batting practice at Yankee Stadium just two weeks later:
Just two weeks after being diagnosed with a minimum Grade 2-plus and potential Grade 3 calf strain, Josh Donaldson is taking batting practice. pic.twitter.com/ktBm6Lbjju
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) July 31, 2023
Donaldson also said he wasn’t involved in the decision to be put on the 60-day injured list. He was just told it would be happening. This should remind you of the “Jacoby Ellsbury rehab timeline” story all over again.
Now with the season all but out of reach for the Yankees, it’s sounding like they’ll give Donaldson a shot at getting back on the active roster.
Josh Donaldson is working toward a potential Minor League rehab assignment in the near future, and Aaron Boone said that it is “definitely a possibility” that Donaldson could be activated in September. https://t.co/N3ti8CuTLN
— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) August 26, 2023
Don’t they think Yankees fans have endured enough with what’s transpired this season? And especially during the month of August?
You’d have to imagine New York is doing Donaldson a favor here by giving him a chance to show he’s healthy heading into the offseason. His $6 million mutual option will almost certainly get declined (we hope). That’d put the soon-to-be 38-year-old back on the open market after two terrible years in the Bronx.
It’s a little ironic that this news is coming out days after we heard Jeff Passan essentially say the Yankees knew trading for Donaldson was doomed from the start. If he does return to the big-league roster, he just better not take any playing time away from the youngsters. It’s not like he’s making a heroic return to help the Bombers with a final push toward the playoffs or anything.