The Yankees are forced to believe in Josh Donaldson

josh donaldson, yankees
Jul 22, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) walks on the field before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have Spring Training in full swing and Aaron Boone has already been ruffling the feathers of disgruntled fans. Let’s not beat around the bush here, the most vocal part of the Yankees fan base is not happy that three players are still on the roster entering the spring.

Those three players are Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Out of the three, IKF probably bothers the fans the least unless Boone unexplainably blocks one of the stud young shortstops in favor of a guy who has negative pop in his bat with a very shaky glove at shortstop.

The Yankees are already hedging on Aaron Hicks with the idea of Aaron Judge playing left field. Centerfield belongs to Harrison Bader and New York is already trying to plan around Hicks. To start the year, it seems clear that Hicks is going to be rotating between the bench and left field.

Josh Donaldson on the other hand has a starting position on this team. Donaldson is going to be the starting third baseman when the Yankees kickoff the season whether fans like it or not. Against the better judgement, the Yankees are forced to believe that Donaldson will bounce back in 2023.

Brian Cashman put the Yankees in this spot

Last year, Brian Cashman made arguably the worst trade of his career when he acquired Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortfedt from the Twins. We all know how the first two performed last year and to this point, Ben Rortfedt hasn’t been healthy more than about five seconds.

Josh Donaldson is very good defensively at third base. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that he’s not regardless of my personal feelings. However, to say he was bad offensively last year would be an understatement. In all my years watching the Yankees, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone stare at or miss more pitches right down the middle than Josh Donaldson.

It got to the point where I was convinced that he was guessing at what pitches were coming. When he guessed right, he ran into a few. However, most of the time he guessed wrong and it resulted in some of the worst at bats anyone had all year.

Throughout the offseason, the Yankees looked for ways they could get rid of Donaldson. However, given the financial commitment teams would have to take on for 2023, New York couldn’t even give him away for peanuts. Now, they are forced to believe that he can bounce back.

Aaron Boone said everyone would be crazy to believe that he can’t bounce back. He has to say that. In reality, I think you’re crazy if you think he can remotely get back to the MVP player he once was.

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