Josh Donaldson was right about his stay in the minor leagues lasting just one day. He just had the wrong reason.
About 24 hours after he expressed optimism that he was on the verge of rejoining the Yankees after clearing his right hamstring by playing five innings at Double-A Somerset, Donaldson was back in The Bronx on Wednesday for a “few treatment things” and an MRI exam.
The 37-year-old third baseman was not activated from the injured list before Wednesday’s game against the Angels as he enters a holding pattern.
“I experienced a little bit of tightness pretty early on in the game,” said Donaldson, who had one hit in three at-bats Tuesday but looked uncomfortable as he ran the bases. “I was able to manage it and get through five but I probably wasn’t running how I wanted to be able to.”
Donaldson said the early medical test results “seemed to be relatively good,” but the focus is “trying to make the right decisions” going forward.
He hoped to know more by Thursday or Friday about the length of his shutdown and if more rehab games are required.
“[Wednesday] is just kind of assessing it because I had been feeling really good — no tightness, no anything, everything’s been running exceptionally well,” Donaldson said. “Something happened with a little bit of the outside environments. We’ve had really good weather here when I’ve been doing my rehab stuff and [Tuesday] was a little cold.”
Manager Aaron Boone also pointed to the drop in temperature as a possible cause that would create a sigh of relief that the setback is not “too severe.”
“It didn’t help being as cold as it was and the wind,” Boone said. “It was freezing here. I can only imagine without a third [stadium] deck in Somerset.”
Donaldson was off to a 2-for-16 start at the plate for the Yankees when he left the April 5 game against the Phillies.
The tightness returned playing third base for Somerset.
“I was doing something defensively and made a throw on it and felt it,” Donaldson said. “It wasn’t to the extent of when I came out of the game [at Yankee Stadium], but still to the point where I didn’t feel like I was 100 percent able to do the things I wanted to do. One of those ordeals where there are things I’d like to feel better about.”
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It came as a surprise considering Donaldson sounded ready to reclaim his job talking to reporters in Somerset. His tone changed a day later.
“I didn’t feel anything grabbing or anything like that,” Donaldson said, “so … we know that it’s not major. It’s just managing it now to get the strength back.”
Donaldson’s extended absence could give prospect Oswald Peraza another start soon at the MLB level as the Yankees shuffle the infield.
Peraza was 1-for-3 Tuesday in his season debut.
“I’m bummed out,” Donaldson said. “I felt like it was going to be any day now, but I’m going to take it day by day and hopefully this gets ironed out.”
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