Josh Donaldson doesn’t expect to miss time with shoulder pain

TAMPA — Josh Donaldson nurses a sore right shoulder he doesn’t think he’ll miss — even in spring practice.

“I don’t expect to miss any games,” Donaldson said Monday at Steinbrenner Field. “We ramped up quickly [in spring training] and just trying to get ahead of him. It just hurts.”

Donaldson has been plagued by leg injuries in each of the last two seasons and spent time on the IL in early 2018 with a right shoulder infection that left him with a dead arm and missed two weeks.

He said Monday he could be back at third base as early as Tuesday when the Yankees host the Phillies if he continues to watch what the pitchers are doing after MLB’s renewed focus on cracking down on usage foreign matter.

Donaldson was frank on the subject last season – calling out to Gerrit Cole – and said he was aware that spin rates in the league started to pick up slightly towards the end of the season after peaking in June and July had dropped significantly.

“I noticed, I noticed,” Donaldson said. “I’ve seen spin rates go up, but my eyes are pretty much set on how pitches are supposed to look and I could see some things happening again.”

Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson doesn’t expect his shoulder pain to force him to miss any spring training games.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Umpires began reviewing pitchers again over the weekend, shifting their focus from gloves and belts to hands, aiming to be less invasive and more efficient at finding potentially illegal substances.

For now, Donaldson said he’s confident MLB will keep an eye on the situation, and he noted he hasn’t seen anything unusual this spring.

“I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary,” Donaldson said of Grapefruit League games.

“We’ll see how it develops. That’s not an issue for me at the moment. I think they’re trying to stay on top of things to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.”

When asked if he thought it became an issue again by the end of last season, Donaldson said, “I think there were maybe some teams that tried a little bit more to find ways to work around it . It wasn’t everywhere.”

And he has no plans to be the center of attention again.

“After last year, I said my piece and let it go,” Donaldson said. “I think they handled it and now they’re doing what they have to do to keep monitoring it. When we get to a point in the year where it’s like last year, we’ll take care of it and you’ll know about it.” Josh Donaldson doesn’t expect to miss time with shoulder pain


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