September 11, 2018 / 10:27 PM / a month ago

Indians activate Donaldson to start vs. Rays

The Cleveland Indians activated recently acquired Josh Donaldson from the 10-day disabled list, and he is slated to start at third base in Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

FILE PHOTO: Sep 10, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Josh Donaldson (27) works out prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Donaldson was serving a minor league rehab stint while recuperating from a calf injury. He went 3-for-7 with two homers and six RBIs in three minor league games.

The Indians’ lineup card displays Donaldson will bat fifth against the Rays.

Donaldson was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 31 and has played in just 36 big league games this season. He is batting .234 with five homers and 16 RBIs and hasn’t played since May 28.

The 2015 American League MVP with the Blue Jays is expected to see most of his action at third base for the Indians. Regular third baseman Jose Ramirez will move to second base, leading to Jason Kipnis shifting to center field.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona told reporters Monday that Donaldson would start Tuesday, be available off the bench Wednesday and return to the lineup Friday after Thursday’s off-day.

“I’ll probably just check with him every day,” Francona said. “I told him when we get some of these longer games, I’ll probably take him out early. We want to watch his volume early on, but he promised he’d communicate with me, too. We’ll check with him every day.”

Donaldson batted .297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs for the Blue Jays during his MVP season. He hit a combined 70 homers over the following two seasons before the calf issues derailed his current campaign.

Meanwhile, the Indians will skip ace right-hander Corey Kluber’s next turn as they begin setting up their rotation for the postseason. Francona said Kluber (18-7, 2.91 ERA) is fine physically despite lasting just 1 2/3 innings in Monday’s start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Right-hander Josh Tomlin will start Friday against the Detroit Tigers. Tomlin is 1-5 with a 6.63 ERA in 28 appearances (six starts).

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