The Twins plan to give Donaldson more frequent rest this season, especially early in the year, to try to help him avoid the calf injuries that limited him to 28 games last season and caused him to miss the playoffs. "I'm not going to be playing in every single game early on, but to kind of build into getting game-ready," Donaldson told MLB.com. Donaldson said he worked on his running form in the offseason to reduce stress on his calf muscles. Donaldson is healthy as spring training begins, but he may be used sparingly in exhibition games to ease him into the regular season. Luis Arraez could start at third base a game or two each week early on to give him rest. Donaldson has had chronic calf injuries -- he missed 38 games with a right calf strain in 2017 -- and played just 52 games in 2018 due to left calf and shoulder injuries. Donaldson remains a top power option at third base, but he comes with considerable injury risk.
Donaldson (calf) is not on the Twins' AL Wild Card Round roster, Brandon Warne of Access Twins reports. Calf issues, which are hardly something new for the veteran third baseman, limited Donaldson to just 28 games this season. The issue returned during the final series of the campaign and evidently hasn't subsided to the point that the Twins feel comfortable with him playing at any point in the next three days. Marwin Gonzalez will be the third baseman in Game 1 against the Astros.
Donaldson (calf) participated in live batting practice Monday, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports. Donaldson missed the final two games of the regular season with a right calf cramp, but he took batting practice with the Twins on Monday, just one day before Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series. The team hasn't announced whether he'll be available to begin the series, but his participation in batting practice is an encouraging step.
Donaldson (calf) is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports. The veteran third baseman exited Friday's contest with a right calf cramp and won't start the final two games of the season. It's not a great sign given Donaldson has battled calf issues in recent years, but the Twins may just be expressing caution on the eve of the playoffs. Marwin Gonzalez receives the start at third base Sunday for the Twins.
Donaldson (calf) will not start Saturday's game against Cincinnati. Donaldson left Friday's game with a right calf cramp, a worrying sign for a player who has missed quite a bit of time with calf issues in recent years. He's reportedly feeling good and receiving treatment Saturday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, but the Twins are likely far more concerned about having him healthy for the playoffs than having him available for the final two games of the regular season. Ehire Adrianza will be the third baseman Saturday.