Prior to today’s double header in Cleveland, the Blue Jays activated Josh Donaldson from the 10-day disabled list. In a corresponding move, they put Justin Smoak on the Paternity List, leaving the team with an eight-man ‘pen for today’s two games. Also, the team has optioned Gift Ngoepe and has recalled Dwight Smith Jr. from Buffalo.
Donaldson was dealing with a nagging shoulder injury during spring training and he came into the regular season with dead arm. He couldn’t consistently make good throws from third to first base and the shoulder was clearly effecting his results at the plate too, as Donaldson slashed a just-decent-for-his-standards .239/.352/.457 line with three bombs through 55 plate appearances.
The Jays went 10-9 with Donaldson on the DL, hammering bad teams like Kansas City, but struggling with good teams like New York and Boston. I think that’s where Donaldson was missed the most. Though Teoscar Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte picked up some of the slack offensively, it’s noticeable when you don’t have your best hitter going up against somebody like Luis Severino.
It’s a great time to get Donaldson back as the Jays are heading into a key double header with a Cleveland team that hasn’t yet hit their stride. While Cleveland’s pitchers have been predictably good, they haven’t heated up yet offensively.
The Jays will send Jaime Garcia to the mound against Carlos Carrasco, who sports a 3.08 ERA over his first six starts. In the second game, Joe Biagini will be recalled to face *checks notes* Adam Plutko, who, uh, pitched three-and-two-thirds innings in the Major Leagues back in 2016. He has a 2.35 ERA through five starts in Triple-A this season.