Josh Donaldson's 2016 season wasn't as productive as his 2015 MVP campaign, but he still returned first-round value. Playing through nagging injuries all year, the third baseman managed the second-most runs (122) and walks (109) in the league while ranking in the top five for slugging percentage (.549) and OPS (.953). When evaluating Donaldson's 2016, it's important to recognize that some numbers dipped primarily because he was pitched around. The 30-year-old had only 11 fewer plate appearances than the previous season, but 43 less at-bats. He demonstrated incredible plate discipline with a 0.9 BB/K and 15.6 percent walk rate. Although ailments popped up throughout the season, he managed to never miss an extended period of time, and none of the injuries should linger into 2017. He is in the prime of his career, and could once again be a MVP candidate in 2017.
Donaldson is back in the Grapefruit League lineup Friday, batting third and returning to third base, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. The slugger returned to spring action earlier this week and played his first reps at third base Wednesday, so it's a plus that Donaldson got back out there for Toronto's second straight game. Return him safely to first-round consideration in most mixed fantasy leagues as long as he makes it through the coming days of exhibition action unscathed.
Donaldson (calf) made his first defensive appearance of the spring and went 0-for-1 with a walk in Thursday's exhibition contest against the Tigers. The big news Monday was Donaldson logging four innings as the team's third baseman. The crowd at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium let out a roar when Toronto's star handled a routine grounder in the top of the second inning, his first assist of the spring. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale told MLB.com , "He had a good pregame where he had some movement, and threw the ball across the diamond. So it's a good sign and a good feeling to see him over there, for sure." It was certainly a relief to see Donaldson on the field, but owners should continue to closely monitor how his body responds as he ramps up his activity level.
Donaldson (calf) will play third base for the first time this spring in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against Detroit, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet reports. The sight of the back-to-back Silver Slugger Award winner on the field will allow owners to finally exhale. Donaldson has been under a cloud of uncertainty since being diagnosed with a strained right calf in mid-February, but the slugger's recovery went without a hiccup. Regardless, it'd be irresponsible to deem Donaldson fully in the clear until he logs some innings without any interruptions.
Donaldson declared himself to be over his calf injury after returning for his spring debut Monday against Minnesota, the Toronto Star reports. With the late start to his Grapefruit League slate, Donaldson figures to see plenty of work during the two remaining weeks of spring training. After an off-day Tuesday, it's expected that Donaldson will resume his regular role at third base Wednesday.
Donaldson (calf) will serve as the Blue Jays' DH and bat third in the order in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Twins, John Lott of The Athletic Toronto reports. Donaldson has been sidelined for much of the spring with a strained right calf, but he'll be able to make his long-awaited debut after he was able to steadily increase his activities over the last couple of weeks. Though he'll initially serve as the team's DH, he's expected to return to the field Wednesday. With his health seemingly on solid ground, fantasy owners can probably feel comfortable investing an early-round selection in Donaldson, who has supplied 78 homers over his first two seasons with the Blue Jays.