Toronto Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson makes first career start at shortstop

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 15: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 15: Josh Donaldson /

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the middle of a race for an American League Wild Card position and are doing everything they can to keep Josh Donaldson in the lineup.

Josh Donaldson made his first career start at shortstop on Sunday for the Toronto Blue Jays. They faced off against the Chicago Cubs, who originally drafted Donaldson, and attempted to avoid a three-game sweep. Unfortunately, Donaldson and the Blue Jays lost in the 10th inning and are moving on to face the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Donaldson has made two appearances at shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays prior to his start on Sunday. Filling the void at third base was Jose Bautista while Nori Aoki played left field and Ezequiel Carrera played right. The Toronto Blue Jays are mixing and matching their lineups and defensive positions because of the numerous injuries they’ve had to endure.

The Toronto Blue Jays are mainly playing Donaldson at shortstop to keep his and Bautista’s bats in the lineup. Donaldson has batted .270/.404/.579 since the All-Star break and has knocked in 27 RBI already compared to the 25 he did during the entire first half of the season. JD has also hit 11 home runs since the All-Star break.

As far as his defense goes, Donaldson has been a strong defender at third base over his entire career. He has been worth a total of 52 defensive runs saved over six seasons according to Fangraphs. He has also had above-average range metrics at the hot corner, so the Blue Jays are hoping his range is at least average at shortstop for the time being. He now has a total of 13 innings at shortstop over his entire career but has only recorded two put-outs and three assists.

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The Toronto Blue Jays are hoping this isn’t a long-term solution for the playoff hopes. Donaldson is basically hitting at such a high rate that he will make up for whatever defensive blunders he may make. But if Troy Tulowitzki can return from his ankle injury, the infield defense with him at shortstop and JD at third base gives this team its best chance of winning.