Reigning MVP continues his recovery from calf soreness
By Alykhan Ravjiani
TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson's sore right calf will likely keep him in the DH role until Tuesday's series opener against the New York Yankees.
Donaldson, who started at DH in the Blue Jays' home opener Friday, went 1-for-5 with a grand slam against the Red Sox. The 2015 American League MVP has three home runs and eight RBIs in the early part of the season, and has been dealing with soreness in his calf since the Blue Jays' final two exhibition games in Montreal.
"He feels a little better, but I think it's the smart thing to probably get him through the off-day [Monday], and hopefully he gets back out on the field Tuesday night," manager John Gibbons said Saturday before the Blue Jays' 8-4 loss to the Red Sox. "That's the tentative plan."
By starting Donaldson at DH, the Blue Jays are able to keep their 2015 league-leading offense intact, while also giving Donaldson's calf additional rest. The 30-year-old exited Wednesday afternoon's contest with the Rays, after limping up the first-base line on a groundout.
Gibbons also updated the status of left-handed reliever Franklin Morales, who warmed up in the fifth inning of Friday night's loss to the Red Sox, but did not make an appearance.
With the Blue Jays having only one additional left-handed bullpen option in Brett Cecil, and Aaron Loup on the 15-day DL with a strained left flexor tendon, Morales signed a non-guaranteed contract before the end of Spring Training and is expected to provide the Blue Jays relief against some of the powerful left-handed hitters in the American League East.
"We're going to need him," Gibbons said. "We signed him to be valuable in the middle innings but we need him healthy, too."
The 30-year-old Morales won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals in 2015, going 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA.
Alykhan Ravjiani is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.