Donaldson may have Buffalo rehab stint before returning to Jays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — He is taking batting practice with the big boys, will soon be running the bases, but before he rejoins the Blue Jays it appears as though Josh Donaldson may pay first pay a visit to Buffalo.

Jays manager John Gibbons said on Wednesday that if the tightness in Donaldson’s left calf is healed to the point that he can play this weekend, he may shuffle down the QEW for a game or two to get better prepared for big-league action. 

“It’s starting to drag a little bit now,” Gibbons said of Donaldson’s latest DL stint, which hit 14 games on Wednesday. “It’s been some days. You’d also like to game test it too before you throw him out there (with the Jays.)”

Donaldson is expected to run the bases on Thursday at the Rogers Centre (an off day) and if cleared to play, the team will decide on the next move. The Jays begin a five-game home stand on Friday with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.

Donaldson was with the team for its series against the Tampa Bay Rays, and his status was listed as day-to-day in this his second stint on the DL this season. He hit against minor-league pitching on Monday, took batting practice at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, but still wasn’t in the lineup for Wednesday’s finale.

After the game Donaldson told Postmedia that he feels like he is getting closer and hopeful he will return to action this weekend — whether it’s in Buffalo, Toronto, or both venues. He says the schedule isn’t carved in stone but acknowledged a trip to Buffalo isn’t out of the question.

“I feel like I’m getting there,” Donaldson said. “I’ve got to get this right, though. It’s not something that I feel I can rush.

HAPP-Y DAYS

There was no need to dig too deep for one Toronto bright spot in its 1-0 loss to the Rays on Wednesday. That would be left-hander J.A. Happ, who pitched a one-hit shutout over his five innings.

Happ has been solid over the past month or more, making him a prime trade deadline candidate for the Jays, who are certain to be sellers prior to the July 31 deadline. Though he didn’t get a ninth win on Wednesday, Happ was able to lower his ERA from 3.71 to 3.48.

“I feel confident and that’s always a good thing,” said Happ, who was the first Jay to go at least five innings and deliver a scoreless start of one hit or fewer since Marcus Stroman did so in Sept, 2016. “I felt like I was executing for the most part with the game plan. And (the Rays) made it difficult.”

Happ said he would preferred to go deeper, but a 30-pitch first inning put a dent in his pitch count. The only hit he allowed all afternoon was a two-out single in the third inning.

AROUND THE BASES

Should by a special night at the Rogers Centre next Tuesday when the Braves come to town. Calgary-born pitcher Mike Soroka was activated from the DL by the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, and took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning as he earned the win in a 2-0 Braves victory over the Mets. Assuming all is well health-wise, he’ll get the start in his homeland … The Blue Jays’ 1-0 loss to the Rays on Wednesday was their first walkoff defeat of the season. It also was the fourth time they have been swept, and the first time they have been held without an extra-base hit in back-to-back games since 2011. Yes, the offence has officially gone dormant … The Jays were certainly a nice tonic for the Rays, who had lost eight of their previous nine before sweeping Toronto.

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies

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