Yankees lose veteran third baseman to injury against Phillies

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

Yankees veteran infielder Josh Donaldson left today’s game vs the Phillies with what has now been labeled as right hamstring tightness. Hopefully, it isn’t too serious of an injury, but the hamstrings always linger and can be timely recoveries. Take Stanton last year, as he missed some time with a hamstring injury that lingered for weeks. The Yankees will now likely deploy DJ at 3B more, and I imagine IKF will also get some time over there. 

Donaldson getting injured shouldn’t be seen as a positive, no matter how many fans believe it is. The Yanks are now one man down in the depth chart, and if he needs to be placed on the IL, it could mark the return of Oswald Peraza to the 26-man. Donaldson’s absence does leave some to be desired at third, though DJ mans the position just as well as he does. Manager Aaron Boone did mention after Wednesday’s win that the hamstring tweak isn’t severe.

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The Yankees haven’t gotten great offense from Josh Donaldson:

Offensively, Donaldson has started off the year in disappointing fashion, though 16 ABs is nothing close to a sample size where I’d write him off just yet. In those 16 ABs, he’s got two knocks, one of which a HR, which is good for a .489 OPS to begin the season. Donaldson revisited his stance midway through spring, and the results paid off, so I wouldn’t call it finished right away. 

It’s a big year for JD and the rest of his career, and it sucks that he’s already injured just six games into the season. I do think he’ll be back at some point, it just depends on how serious the hamstring injury is. Fortunately, the Yankees do have some talent to work with, and having DJ there is what a lot of fans already wanted. 

DJ has been on a tear to start this season, as he’s batting .300, with a pair of doubles and a HR to his ledger as well. LeMahieu’s toe seems to be nothing to worry about, which is excellent news as the year progresses. If he can stay healthy for the majority of the season and into October, this team is an absolute World Series contender. 

If the Yanks do choose to call up Peraza, assuming Donaldson heads to the IL, it’ll be a quick turnaround for the team’s No.2 prospect, who was optioned to AAA to start the year. He’s been hitting well and even added a walk-off to his stat sheet a few days back. 

Hopefully, Donaldson can heal up fast and get right, but I also want him to take the necessary time needed for him to get back on the field. Rushing injuries is never the answer, especially with hamstrings and obliques alike. Any leg injury and muscle injury should be treated with more caution, so I wouldn’t be shocked if JD doesn’t return this month. 

It’s not the biggest loss for the team, though it is a loss nonetheless. I imagine we’ll see a few different guys take reps at 3B in the meantime, and the Yanks shouldn’t miss a step in their early season progress. The team sits at 4-2 and will hopefully continue to improve and win baseball games.