The Braves are anticipating Donaldson hitting second in the order during the 2019 season, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Per O'Brien, Ronald Acuna will sit atop the order or man the cleanup spot while Freddie Freeman hits third. Ozzie Albies and Ender Inciarte are also under consideration to bat leadoff. Prior to Donaldson's injury-plagued 2018 campaign, he slashed .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 78 RBI in 2017. The Braves are obviously betting on Donaldson staying healthy and returning to that form after signing him to a one-year, $23 million deal. Donaldson is in line to be the club's everyday third baseman while Johan Camargo takes on a utility role to begin the year.
Donaldson signed a one-year, $23 million contract with the Braves on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Donaldson will immediately slot in as the team's everyday third baseman, likely pushing Johan Camargo to a utility role. Injuries limited the 32-year-old to just 52 games in 2018, prompting him to sign a one-year deal in an attempt to re-establish his value. When healthy, Donaldson has proven to be one of the premier options at the hot corner over the past five seasons, slashing .275/.373/.524 with 148 homers and 421 RBI over that stretch (636 games).
Donaldson went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, four RBI and two runs in Friday's 14-6 victory over the Royals. Donaldson blew the game open with a grand slam in the seventh inning to stretch the Indians' lead to 10-0. He also added a double and a run earlier in the frame, as the Indians scored 10 of their 14 runs in the seventh. Donaldson now has a .249 batting average to go along with eight home runs and 23 RBI over 212 plate appearances in 2018.
Donaldson went 3-for-4 on Thursday against the Royals. All of Donaldson's hits were singles and the Indians had a quiet game offensively, leaving him with no counting stats to show for his effort. However, he has reached base in seven of his last nine at-bats across the last two games. Donaldson's playing time is ramping up, and though his power production isn't up to its usual levels -- he has only three extra-base hits across 40 at-bats in September -- he's still shown the ability to reach base at a high clip.
Donaldson went 0-for-1 with four walks and a run scored in Wednesday's win over the White Sox. Even without a hit, Donaldson had a solid day at the plate in reaching base a season-high four times. The 32-year-old is hitting just .222 since joining Cleveland, but he's also sporting .378 OBP in that span.