Indians temper 'excitement' as Donaldson hits DL

Former MVP playing 3B in Columbus on Monday

Alex Hooper
September 03, 2018 - 2:31 pm

Credit USA Today Images

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Indians are excited to have Josh Donaldson on their team, something mentioned by Indians President Chris Antonetti upon acquiring the former MVP. Manager Terry Francona used the term twice again on Monday.

That does not mean the organization is letting their emotions get the best of them, as the team placed Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list Monday. The recent acquisition played in the Columbus Clippers’ final regular season game on Monday, will train with the Indians in Cleveland on Tuesday, before playing with the Double-A Akron Rubberducks Wednesday in the Eastern League Playoffs.

Donaldson was included in the conversations about his road back to the bigs, which took place before and after Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay.

“Just felt like to put him in the best position to succeed. I know I say this a lot, but nobody has a crystal ball, so you try to do what you think is right. And we included him in the communication,” Francona said. “He was outstanding. When you try to not get over-excited about him being here and getting on the field. When you know what’s right. 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 and maybe play back-to-back and play multiple games.”

Akron are guaranteed three games in the best-of-5 series, which would run through September 7, with Donaldson feasibly in tow for that whole stretch.

The 32-year-old ran, threw and hit in front of the Indians medical staff on Sunday prior to their meetings, and all indications were that he was ready to get back into game action.

“It did go really well. There was a lot to be excited about,” Francona added. “There was part of us that thought, ok, play him one game and sit him a game. We tried not to let our excitement get in the way of making the proper decision. In the end, we had a really good process. He was involved in it and he was tremendous.”

Donaldson will be eligible to come off of the disabled list on Tuesday, Sept. 11 in Tampa, which Francona said is their target date.

“But we’re going to go off of him,” he added. “If he came to us and said ‘I need more’ that’s what we’re going to do. I think he’s going to be OK.”

Work in progress

Donaldson’s acquisition set things in motion for the Indians defensively. Third baseman José Ramírez will shift back to second, while second baseman Jason Kipnis will have to earn his job in center field.

Originally it was said that the pair would not move in game action until Donaldson was playing in the Majors ‘pretty regularly,’ but that notion changed Monday. Ramírez and Kipnis will begin taking balls at their new positions, and will dictate their own moves when they are ready, whether or not Donaldson is back, according to Francona.