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Donaldson 'feeling pretty solid' entering 2017

After earlier calf injury, third baseman keying in at right time
March 28, 2017

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Josh Donaldson doesn't have a lot of at-bats this spring, but it hasn't taken him long to get back to swinging well.Donaldson homered and doubled in Toronto's 10-4 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday night at Spectrum Field. Those happened to be Donaldson's first two hits of

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Josh Donaldson doesn't have a lot of at-bats this spring, but it hasn't taken him long to get back to swinging well.
Donaldson homered and doubled in Toronto's 10-4 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday night at Spectrum Field. Those happened to be Donaldson's first two hits of the spring, which might sound odd, until you consider he entered the game with just nine at-bats.
Donaldson was hampered early in camp by a calf injury, but he has since fully recovered. And he appears to be rounding into form at just the right time, with Monday's season opener in Baltimore rapidly approaching.
"I've hit some balls pretty decent so far in camp," Donaldson said after he finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored. "I haven't really had much to show for it, but honestly, I wouldn't have cared if I had a hit in the entire Spring Training. As long as I'm seeing the ball well, that's all that matters right now."
Donaldson's first hit of the spring came when he doubled on a sharp liner to center field in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Donaldson came up again, and this time, he hit a soaring fly ball to deep right-center field, sailing well over the lawn beyond the outfield wall.

The fact that both hits were to the right side of the field shows that Donaldson's timing is where he needs it to be. He was able to connect on the outer half of the plate and drive the ball, an encouraging sign after so much down time earlier this spring.
"It's always nice for a ball to fall," Donaldson said. "At the same time, for me, it's being able to recognize pitches early. I haven't really even tried to zone in on an approach, because there are some guys I haven't faced before, kind of going up there not knowing what they have. I don't think I've ever faced the guy tonight that I ended up getting a couple of hits off of. At the end of the day, it's just nice to be able to recognize pitches early, and seeing more pitches, that definitely helps."
As for Donaldson's health, he battled through a hip injury during the latter stages of 2016. He has since made a full recovery, and while the calf was an initial concern, that also seems to no longer be an issue.
"I'm feeling pretty solid," Donaldson said. "Just being out there, being able to read balls off the bat, playing defense and, ultimately, just getting ready for Opening Day and the long haul of the season."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.