Colorado demoting Ian Stewart to the minors after the 26-year-old veteran of 1,300 plate appearances got off to a slow start seemed odd to me and the Rockies have now called him back up from Triple-A just two weeks later.
Stewart predictably knocked around Triple-A pitching, hitting .361 with three homers and a 1.250 OPS in 11 games, and called the two-week demotion “humbling.”
Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez were both given looks as the primary third baseman in Stewart’s absence, but presumably the Rockies aren’t so intent on jerking Stewart around that they’d demote him to the minors and then recall him to do anything but play regularly.
Of course, when you’re demoting multi-year starters to Triple-A because they have 26 poor at-bats to begin a season it becomes tough to predict anything.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.