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Blue Jays place Josh Donaldson on 10-day disabled list

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Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a calf injury, the team announced Friday. Donaldson experienced some tightness in his left calf after running the bases during Monday’s game, and will need more time to rest up before resuming his post at third base. The Blue Jays have yet to reveal a concrete timeline for his return, but it doesn’t appear to be a serious setback for the infielder.

It’s hardly the first time a calf injury has derailed Donaldson’s performance. In 2017, he came out of spring training with a right calf strain, one that continued to nag him throughout the first few weeks of the season and eventually earned him a six-week stay on the DL. Although he managed to avoid further leg injuries this year, a bout of shoulder inflammation clipped his numbers to all-time lows — through May 28, he slashed .234/.333/.423 with five home runs and a .757 OPS in 159 PA, a far cry from the .270+ average, 5.0+ fWAR he posted in previous years.

In a corresponding move, left-hander Tim Mayza was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. The 26-year-old rookie logged six relief appearances during his last stint in the majors this spring, issuing three runs, two walks and seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. He looked even sharper in Triple-A after striking out 17 of 38 batters in 10 frames of one-run ball.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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