BOSTON – A jammed right thumb will sideline Josh Donaldson against the Boston Red Sox Saturday. Darwin Barney starts at third base with Ryan Goins filling in at shortstop to give the reigning American League MVP some rest.
The thumb had started bothering Donaldson before it flared up in Friday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox. After fouling off an inside fastball from David Price in the third inning, Donaldson shook his right hand in apparent discomfort.
“It’s been aggravating him,” manager John Gibbons said. “It gets pretty tender. It’s tough to hold a bat.”
Donaldson’s day to day and could return for the series finale between the Blue Jays and Red Sox Sunday.
Even after throwing 29 pitches Friday, Roberto Osuna’s available out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays Saturday. All things being equal they’d prefer to find a way to rest their 21-year-old closer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a day off.
“Ideally, but not necessarily,” Gibbons said.
Osuna has 13 saves and a 1.07 ERA after recording the last four outs of Friday’s series opener. Joe Biagini has been similarly impressive, posting a 1.25 ERA on his way to regular work as a setup reliever. The Blue Jays have even wondered what he’d look like in another role.
“I even think he could be a starter,” Gibbons said. “He’s a big, strong guy and that’s always what he’s done. He’s got a great arm and a great curveball. He might be a guy that’s in the rotation down the road.
“I don’t see why he couldn’t do it,” Gibbons continued. “Won’t happen this year, but he’s been impressive.”
Brett Cecil’s feeling better according to Gibbons, but there’s no clear timeline for the left-hander’s return. He’s on the disabled list with a tear in his lat.