Yankees Update: Donaldson’s struggles continue as injury dashes comeback hopes

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson
Amanda Paula
Tuesday July 18, 2023

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New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson is facing a potentially season-ending injury, according to reports from Brendan Kuty of The Athletic. The 37-year-old player disclosed the details of his injury to reporters in Los Angeles, revealing a tear in his right calf. With uncertainty surrounding his return, the Yankees are left grappling with the challenge of filling the void at the hot corner. Let’s delve into the injury, its implications, and the potential impact on the team.

The Injury

Josh Donaldson suferring an injury.

Donaldson’s right calf tear has been evaluated by two doctors, with conflicting grades assigned to the severity of the injury. One doctor labeled it as a Grade 2-plus tear, while another deemed it a Grade 3 tear. The discrepancy adds to the uncertainty surrounding Donaldson’s recovery timeline and raises doubts about whether he will be able to make a comeback this season. When asked about his potential return, Donaldson responded with a simple, “I don’t know.” This ambiguity leaves the Yankees and their fans anxiously waiting for further updates.

This setback comes amidst a challenging season for Josh Donaldson, who has struggled to find his form at the plate. The veteran infielder, acquired by the Yankees in a trade with the Twins in 2022, has failed to live up to expectations. In 2023, Donaldson has posted underwhelming offensive numbers, with a mere .142 batting average, 10 home runs, and 15 RBIs in 106 at-bats, resulting in a lackluster OPS+ of 78. Furthermore, he has been subject to fan criticism, becoming a target of boos from Yankees fans, mirroring the reception received by Aaron Hicks when he was designated for assignment earlier in the season.

The Yankees’ replacement option

Oswald Peraza throws during the Yankees’ spring training game against the Orioles on March 19, 2022.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

With Donaldson’s absence, the Yankees face the challenge of finding a suitable replacement at the hot corner. The team is expected to utilize top prospect Oswald Peraza, who primarily plays shortstop, as a potential solution. Peraza, considered the Yankees’ best prospect, brings strong defensive skills and promising offensive potential. Additionally, the Yankees can rely on the versatile DJ LeMahieu and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to fill in at third base. While LeMahieu has struggled offensively this season, he remains a dependable defender. Kiner-Falefa’s defensive prowess offers another option, albeit with limited offensive output.

Donaldson’s injury adds to a series of challenges the Yankees have faced this season. The team has been striving to meet their championship aspirations, but their performance has fallen short of expectations. General manager Brian Cashman’s decision to acquire Donaldson, along with his underperforming trade counterparts, Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt, has come under scrutiny. The Yankees will need to rely on their depth and adaptability to overcome this setback and remain competitive in the highly competitive American League.

As Josh Donaldson’s season hangs in the balance, the Yankees will need to regroup and rally around their available options to sustain their postseason aspirations. Donaldson’s injury compounds an already challenging season, adding pressure to an organization known for its high standards. Whether the Yankees can overcome these obstacles and find success will be determined by the resilience of their roster and the strategic decisions made by their coaching staff.

In the coming weeks, updates on Donaldson’s condition will be crucial, shaping the team’s approach for the remainder of the season. Yankees fans will be eagerly awaiting news of his potential return and hoping for a swift recovery, while the team searches for stability at the hot corner in his absence.

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