On Tuesday, Josh Donaldson marked two returns: one to the Oakland Coliseum, where he played the first four seasons of his career, and the other to the New York Yankees lineup.
Donaldson’s Impact After Brief Absence
Following a three-game hiatus, Donaldson was listed on the roster for Tuesday’s face-off against the Oakland Athletics. Perhaps the short respite sparked a fire in the 37-year-old, who hit a solo home run in his second at-bat. Despite this impressive performance, it couldn’t single-handedly address the Yankees’ ongoing offensive struggles, leading to a 2-1 loss to Oakland.
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Assessing Donaldson’s Performance This Season
The season has been challenging for Donaldson, with a slash line of just .132/.200/.441 entering Wednesday’s game. However, his tally of seven home runs in 22 games hints at some potential power left in the bat of the former MVP.
Many of his issues this season can be traced to an increased strikeout rate and decreased walk rate. With a 29.3% K-rate, the highest of his career, and an 8.0% BB-rate, his career-low, Donaldson is having difficulty maintaining consistency at the plate. His Barrel% stands over 23%, his HardHit% exceeds 51%, and his XBA this season is .228, indicating that when he does make contact, the ball is generally hit hard and far. The real concern, however, lies in the frequency of his contact.
Yankees’ Struggles and Hopes for Recovery
Domingo Germàn will take the mound tonight, aiming to course-correct for the Yankees, who have only secured an 8-11 record since Aaron Judge’s toe injury. After a strong season start, Germàn’s last two performances have been less than stellar, yielding 7 ERs to the Boston Red Sox on June 16th and 8 ERs to the Seattle Mariners on June 22nd, totaling 15 ERs in just 5.1 IP.
The Yankees have an opportunity to reset tonight and even the series against the Athletics, who currently rank near the bottom in nearly all major categories. Eager to rectify the situation, the Yankees’ first pitch against the Athletics is slated for 9:40 pm EST.