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Donaldson OK after exiting due to dehydration

Third baseman doesn't expect to be sidelined for long
MLB.com @gregorMLB

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- That eerie silence you may have noticed on Saturday afternoon was the Blue Jays' fan base collectively holding its breath. They can relax, Josh Donaldson is fine.

Donaldson left Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Tigers after one inning, which created mass hysteria from people on social media who feared the potential MVP candidate had a setback with his injured right shoulder. Turns out, it was just dehydration.

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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- That eerie silence you may have noticed on Saturday afternoon was the Blue Jays' fan base collectively holding its breath. They can relax, Josh Donaldson is fine.

Donaldson left Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Tigers after one inning, which created mass hysteria from people on social media who feared the potential MVP candidate had a setback with his injured right shoulder. Turns out, it was just dehydration.

View Full Game Coverage

The 32-year-old experienced some cramping during the first inning. It became noticeable while fielding a ground ball in the top half, and it became even more apparent in the bottom half when Donaldson walked and then asked out of the game after reaching first base.

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"I got busy working today, and I wasn't able to consume the fluids," Donaldson said. "I went and got tested after I came out, and I was dehydrated. I just got a little cramp and I'll be ready to go, probably not tomorrow because I was scheduled off anyhow, but I think in Orlando [on Tuesday] I'll be playing."

It was all smiles for the Donaldson and the rest of his teammates after Saturday's victory, but things weren't quite so rosy earlier in the day. Fans and reporters alike eagerly waited word on the franchise player, who was sidelined earlier in camp because of a sore shoulder. Saturday marked his first time appearing in back-to-back games at third base this spring, but it didn't last very long.

The good news is that Donaldson says his shoulder has been feeling better every day. It still doesn't sound like the shoulder is 100 percent, but Donaldson is regaining strength and no longer has the same level of discomfort that was present earlier in Spring Training when the Blue Jays limited his work to designated hitter.

Video: ATL@TOR: Donaldson impresses in his spring debut

Donaldson's current situation might not be perfect, but it's still a lot better than it was a year ago. In 2017, Donaldson missed almost all of Spring Training because of a strained calf. He began the season on time, but the injury never went away, and Donaldson was placed on the disabled list less than two weeks into the season.

"Shoulder is actually feeling really good as of late," Donaldson said. "It's one of those things where every day it's progressing in the right direction, and I feel good about it. It's not something I'm concerned about, and I've been able to put in a lot of quality work this Spring Training, and that's important to me. Last year, I didn't really get to do that, and I'm happy about it."

Even though Donaldson's prognosis is light years ahead of last spring, he can't quite be considered a full participant in camp. Donaldson has been limited to 11 at-bats, which ranks 23rd on the Blue Jays' roster. For some players that might be an issue, but the way Donaldson sees it, he doesn't really need any. The native of Alabama believes spring is necessary for defensive work, but the rest is overrated.

"To me, it's good to get some work in here at Spring Training and stuff, but I could have 500 Spring Training at-bats, they really don't equate to one at-bat in the season," said Donaldson, who also has five walks in his 16 plate appearances. "You can have as many at-bats as you want and come into the season and not feel where you want to be. Really, it's about getting in-season, in-game, at-bats for me. Right now, I'm at a good pace to where I'd like to be in my at-bats."

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

Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson