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Josh Donaldson gets to work with Atlanta Braves

When prime MLB cost-free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado continue to wait for a spring thaw in baseball’s investing, Josh Donaldson documented for spring teaching with the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, 5 days early.

Donaldson may possibly have been sitting at household with the other prime bats-for-use, other than accidents confined the 3-time All-Star to 52 games previous year. The third baseman signed a $23 million offer with the Braves in November that will give Donaldson a year to re-build himself as a single of the significant league’s elite hitters in advance of tackling cost-free company once more following calendar year.

“I truly feel pretty blessed to be in the scenario that I’m in,” Donaldson reported. “If I would have been healthier previous calendar year, who understands what would have occurred, what scenario I would be in proper now. But I’m pretty self-confident and I’m thrilled to be right here and be a part of this business. …

“I felt like it was a excellent in shape. I felt like me remaining from the South, observing the Braves growing up, that performs a part in it. The setting that I am heading to be in right here, that performs a big part in it as properly. Honestly, I thought it was a excellent offer for me, in particular coming off the harm-plagued year that I had a calendar year ago. I am searching ahead to proving Alex proper once more. I proved him proper the first time he bought me and know I want to do it once more.”

As the standard supervisor of the Toronto Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos traded four players to the Oakland Athletics on Nov. 28, 2014, for Donaldson, who was an All-Condition baseball and football player at Faith Academy in Cell in advance of starring in baseball at Auburn.

In his first year with the Blue Jays, Donaldson won the American League Most Useful Player Award, and he finished fourth in the voting for the honor the following year. Toronto achieved the American League Championship Sequence in both yrs immediately after not possessing been in the postseason due to the fact 1993.

Anthopoulos is now the standard supervisor of the Braves.

“The No. 1 priority was receiving what we thought was a man who could be a middle-of-the-purchase form of bat,” Anthopoulos reported. “We weren’t searching for a third baseman. We just required a significant bat with electric power. Then you get started factoring in the way he performs, the way he prepares, the example he sets, the edge he brings and how tricky he is. He’s just heading to make players around him superior.”

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A calf harm confined Donaldson to 113 games in 2017, but he nevertheless strike 33 household runs. In 2018, a shoulder harm and a lot more calf challenges conspired to hold him off the industry for a lot more than two-thirds of the year.

“I truly feel pretty self-confident where by I’m at proper now, where by my body’s at proper now,” Donaldson reported, “and it is just heading to be progressing it as a result of spring teaching. I haven’t had a spring teaching in two yrs, so I’ve variety of been heading into the year at the rear of the eight ball. So I’m searching ahead to remaining able to go out there. My entire body is telling me that it is completely ready to go and completely ready to continue to set operate in, and I’m enthusiastic about remaining able to do that.”

Joining the Braves comes with a perk for Donaldson: The individuals again household in Pensacola (where by he grew up), Cell and Auburn will uncover it less complicated to see him enjoy on Television now that he’s in Atlanta.

“It’s been tough for a ton of my relatives and buddies to see me enjoy out my Main League job,” Donaldson reported. “At the starting, I’m on the West Coast, and then when I went to Toronto, I’m in Canada. So it is a tiny bit distinctive. Everybody’s variety of glad they can see me. All they have to do is change on the local channels, and they’ll be able to see me on there.”

Mark Inabinett is a athletics reporter for Alabama Media Group. Observe him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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