Josh Donaldson isn’t interested in revealing details of how the Toronto Blue Jays handled his injury rehab during the 2018 season and says the onus is on him to “find the right people to help me stay healthy.”
“I’m going to take the high road on this. It’s already over and done with and I’m healthy now,” Donaldson told Rob Longley of The Toronto Sun on Monday, after the Cleveland Indians were swept by the Houston Astros in the AL Division Series. “I’m not going to sit here and put the blame on anyone right now. It’s up to me to find the right people to help me stay healthy.”
Donaldson was traded to Cleveland by the Blue Jays on Aug. 31, the last day before teams could acquire playoff-eligible players. At the time of the deal, he was recovering from a left calf injury that had sidelined him since May 28 and Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins later admitted that Donaldson grew frustrated with the club’s high-performance department and how the trade process played out.
“I wish I would have done things differently myself,” Donaldson said Monday. “It’s my body. It’s my job to take care of myself.”
At the Letters
Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling take fans inside the Blue Jays and around MLB with news, analysis and interviews.
| Ben on Twitter
| Arden on Twitter
Friction between Donaldson and the Blue Jays’ high-performance team reportedly dates back to spring training 2017 when he tore his right calf. He was limited to 113 games that season and just 52 regular-season contests this year.
Donaldson posted a .920 OPS in 16 games with the Indians following the trade, but collected just one hit and one walk in 12 plate appearances over three post-season outings. The third baseman turns 33 in December and is set to become a free agent for the first time.
“I can still play,” Donaldson said. “For me it’s just being able to stay on the field. Once everything got taken care of off the field I was fine. My arm felt great. My body felt great. It was just one of those deals where it was difficult from Day 1 of the season, not feeling 100 [per cent] and not being able to turn the corner the way I wanted to.
“The good thing is I was finally able to do that and was able to respond well to playing. I was able to come back and play at a level that I was comfortable with.”