MLB

Ex-Blue Jay Josh Donaldson back on DL to rehab calf injury

Former Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson has returned to the 10-day disabled list, allowing the Cleveland Indians newcomer to begin a triple-A rehab assignment on Monday afternoon. He walked and lined out against Toledo before hitting a grand slam.

Cleveland's new 3rd baseman belts grand slam in 1st game at triple-A Columbus

Cleveland newcomer Josh Donaldson spent some time in the team's dugout Sunday before returning to the 10-day disabled list Monday to allow the third baseman to rehab a calf injury at triple-A. He was acquired from the Blue Jays on Friday night. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

It didn't take long for Josh Donaldson to return to the disabled list but, no, the former Toronto Blue Jays' star third baseman hasn't experienced an injury setback.

Being placed on the 10-day DL allows the Cleveland Indians newcomer to begin a rehab assignment Monday afternoon with the triple-A Columbus Clippers.

Starting at third and batting second against the visiting Toledo Mud Hens, Donaldson walked and lined out before belting a grand slam off Australian right-hander Warwick Saupold with two out in the fourth inning to extend Columbus' lead to 5-0.

Monday's move, retroactive to Saturday, eliminates any possibility of Donaldson stepping to the plate at Rogers Centre this Thursday when the Indians open a four-game series against the Blue Jays.

Toronto activated Donaldson to deal the three-time all-star ahead of Friday's midnight ET trade deadline along with cash for a player to be named later after the pending free agent played only 36 games this season due to a nagging left calf injury.

Watch Donaldson's introductory news conference:

Watch the full press conference as Josh Donaldson meets with the press in Cleveland. 7:44

Cleveland manager Terry said Donaldson will work out with the Indians on Tuesday and then join double-A Akron for the Eastern League playoffs.

Francona said multiple meetings took place with Donaldson and the team's baseball and medical staffs before the decision was made for him to get playing time in the minors before returning to the majors.

"When you try to not get over-excited about him being here and getting on the field, we felt like him playing a handful of games would put him in the best position to be healthy where he could come back and play maybe back to back and play multiple games," Francona said.

The 32-year-old, who has a .234 average and five home runs this season, will be reunited with former Blue Jays teammate Edwin Encarnacion in Cleveland, which opened play Monday with a 14-game lead over Minnesota atop the American League Central standings.

Donaldson to man 3rd base

Donaldson, who is eligible to play in the post-season, hasn't played a major league game since May 28, dealing with a nagging calf injury. The 2015 American League MVP played in a rehab game with single-A Dunedin on Aug. 28, allowing the Blue Jays to place Donaldson on waivers and trade him.

"If I was writing a book, it's not how I would have wanted it to go, but hopefully it has a happy ending," said Donaldson, who will become Cleveland's regular third baseman once healthy as manager Terry Francona will shift AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez to second.

Donaldson took batting practice and did drills at Progressive Field on Sunday. Afterward, he said he was close to being 100 per cent.

"I feel very good about where I'm at right now," said Donaldson, who took batting practice and worked out with the Indians before Sunday's game. "I'd rather not talk about it. I'd rather you just be able to see it and make a judgment for yourself."

About the Author

Doug Harrison has covered the professional and amateur scene as a senior writer for CBC Sports since 2003. Previously, the Burlington, Ont., native covered the NHL and other leagues for Faceoff.com. Follow the award-winning journalist @harrisoncbc

With files from The Canadian Press & Associated Press

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