The New York Yankees took the anticipated step of waiving veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson several weeks ago. The decision came on the heels of Donaldson’s inconsistent offensive performance and persistent injury woes, particularly a calf strain that had sidelined him for months.
While many believed Donaldson’s season might be over, the Yankees released him to seek opportunities elsewhere. He subsequently signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers to cover their third base needs.
Two Disappointing Seasons with the Bombers
Donaldson’s tenure with the Yankees was far from stellar, failing to recapture his old form in terms of power and contact quality. In the 2022 season, he managed a batting average of just .222 with a .308 OBP and a 98 wRC+. He hit 15 home runs and drove in 62 runs over 132 games. Fast-forward to this season, Donaldson’s stats looked even grimmer. He posted a .142 average with a .225 OBP across 34 games, although he did smash 10 homers and had 15 RBIs. Despite a surge in power, his overall performance lacked consistency.
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A Brewers Revival: Donaldson’s Early Success in Milwaukee
In a surprising twist, Donaldson has made quite an impression since being called up from Triple-A by the Brewers. Though the sample size is small, he’s been on fire, hitting .500 with a .667 OBP. His recent stats include a home run, two RBIs, a 33.3% walk rate, and a staggering 321 wRC+. In just two games, he’s notched three hits—more than he achieved in his last five games combined with the Yankees before being benched.
The Mind Game: Confidence and Support
Something seems to have rekindled Donaldson’s confidence since his move to Milwaukee. Whether it was the pressures of playing in New York or the scrutiny that comes with it, he’s showing a noticeable upswing in his game.
A Puzzling Trend for the Yankees
On the flip side, the Yankees are likely pondering why certain players, like Donaldson, are instantly flourishing elsewhere while failing to deliver within their ranks. It’s becoming apparent that there might be a mental or support component in play here, a factor the Yankees seem to be lacking when it comes to uplifting their key assets.