Sunday, March 6, 2011
30 A's in 30 Days: Josh Donaldson
Acquired: Traded from Chicago Cubs (with IF/OF Eric Patterson, SP Sean Gallagher and OF Matt Murton) for SP Rich Harden and RP Chad Gaudin. (July 8, 2008).
Contract: Signed through 2011 (not yet eligible for arbitration).
Position: Reserve catcher; accomplice in one of the worst games I've ever seen in person.
2011 Projected BA/OBP/SLG: .251/.319/.405
2010 Season: Donaldson made his Major League debut on May 1 and he homered the next day in his first start behind the plate. The A's were still within that early season, ten-week window known as "screw around with Landon Powell", so Donaldson started the next two games. Scuffling through a 1 for 18 slide, Donaldson started at DH on May 14 against the Angels in Anaheim. M'man Smitty and I were in attendance. Later I wrote: "Our cleanup hitter entered the game with two home runs. Our number three hitter was slugging .402. Our designated hitter was a 24-year-old rookie with just 24 career plate appearances under his belt. Joe Saunders and his 6.19 ERA took the mound for the Angels. In just a tick over two hours, Saunders -- whose ERA was 8.31(!) in his previous four starts -- shutout the A's on four hits. Smitty and I weren't entirely sure the sun had completely set as we left the stadium." Donaldson was sent back to the minors two days later.
2011 Over/Under: Donaldson hit 19 home runs between AAA-Sacramento (18) and Oakland last year -- establishing a career-high. Earlier, I predicted that he and Landon Powell would ultimately "split" the back-up backstop duties as a result of season-long demotions and promotions between the two. As with Powell, I don't envision this system would be the least bit beneficial. I'm taking the UNDER.
By the Numbers: 6'0" – The listed height for Donaldson. Now, as most of you know, I'm a casual observer of the sport that popularized exaggerated heights and weights. Take a look at these videos and tell me that Donaldson is six feet tall. I'm six feet tall and I can recognize "height-perbole" when I see it. I brought in my 4'8" wife, Mrs. Bootleg, as a subject matter expert. She watched one Donaldson video and responded, unprompted, "He's built like Matt Stairs."
Surefire 2011 Prediction: Incumbent back-up Landon Powell will stave off Donaldson's Spring Training challenge and break camp with Oakland. I figure I should have at least one "surefire" prediction without qualifiers.
Old School Rap Track for the Season: Take What's Yours, Ma$e featuring DMX