New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson may miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with a possible Grade 3 strain to his right calf, according to what he told reporters on Monday. Donaldson suffered the injury on Saturday while running out a ground ball. He was placed on the injured list on Sunday for the second time this season. Earlier in the year, he missed more than two months after sustaining a strained hamstring.
Donaldson, 37, has had a disappointing season for the Yankees. In 33 games, he's batted .142/.225/.434 (78 OPS+) with 10 home runs and 15 runs batted in. His offensive output has been suppressed by a .076 batting average on balls in play that registers as the lowest in modern history for someone with at least 100 trips to the plate. (Donaldson has made 120 plate appearances.)
Donaldson is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, and it seems unlikely that the Yankees would exercise his $16 million club option for next season. If this is the end of his 2023, it means he'll have contributed just 2.2 Wins Above Replacement across two years with the Yankees. New York originally acquired him as part of a larger trade with the Minnesota Twins that also fetched utility player Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt. In return, the Yankees sent out catcher Gary Sánchez and infielder Gio Urshela.
Donaldson had been serving as the Yankees' designated hitter immediately prior to his injury. DJ LeMahieu, historically a second baseman, has been New York's primary third baseman this year. The Yankees did recall young infielder Oswald Peraza in a corresponding move after placing Donaldson on the shelf.
The Yankees entered Tuesday with a 50-45 record following a loss on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels. They're now nine games back in the American League East and 2.5 back in their pursuit of the final AL wild-card spot.