Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson has been on fire since returning from the injured list over the weekend.
Donaldson didn’t hit much in the five games he played before going on the IL in April with a hamstring injury, but at least the Yankees could count on him for strong defense. He returned to the field on Friday and has made an immediate impact, hitting three homers in his last three games. In Tuesday night’s game, he made a pair of impressive defensive plays. The first came in the fifth inning when he made a strong off-balance throw to nail a runner at first. The second came in the ninth, on a more routine play that ended up being more difficult than it needed to be.
Eloy Jiménez hit a sharp grounder to Donaldson at third, but he was a little preoccupied with trying to fix the PitchCom device in his hat. Even still, he was able to make the play.
Josh Donaldson, PitchCom Distraction 😂 pic.twitter.com/0u27KSIQSf— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 7, 2023
That wasn’t an easy play by any stretch of the imagination. The ball left Jiménez’s bat at a scorching 103.9 mph, and Donaldson still managed to make the play despite being distracted.
PitchCom can be very helpful for fielders who want to know what pitch is about to be thrown and be better able to anticipate where the ball might be hit. But no technology is foolproof. And with the pitch clock speeding up the game, any tinkering with the device needs to be done quickly. Luckily for Donaldson, his reflexes were still quick.