The View Beyond Pluto: What's in a Calf Muscle? Maybe the Indians World Series Hopes

Sep 12, 2018

The latest controversy for MLB teams and analysts seems to come from an unlikely place: Newly-acquired Indians third baseman Josh Donaldson's calf injury. Teams including the Yankees and the Red Sox are crying foul, arguing that Donaldson should not have been allowed to go on the disabled list after the Indians traded for him.

But WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says those teams should quit complaining about the trade because the Indians are already taking a gamble on Donaldson.

Donaldson had last played a major leage game back in May before he came the Indians from Toronto. And he has a calf muscle injury, similar to one that has sidlened outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who has played just 47 games since the 2017 All-Star break and last played this season in July.

But if -- and that might be a big "if"-- Donaldson is healthy, he could be a major asset to the Indians.

"The fun thing will be to see, does this work with Donaldson," Pluto said.

In short, it is a gamble. But Pluto said it is a gamble that could take the Indians far.

"I think they felt the team as it was put together right now, wasn't good enough to get back to the World Series," he said. "This guy, who can get hot...could help get them back."

But, as Pluto pointed out, there might be some incentive for Donaldson to bring results to the team. The Indians want Donaldson to play well just as much as Donaldson does. 

"Donaldson wants to play well to get another contract because if he goes out there and pulls another calf muscle..." Pluto said. "By the way, if he says he's hurt, he's hurt. There's millions of dollars on the line for him right now."

Donaldson's addition to the team also creates a new scenario on the field. He will play third base, moving current third-baseman Jose Ramirez to second and second-baseman Jason Kipnis to center field.