The Oakland A’s third baseman had a great month of May. He batted .417 with 27 hits and eight homers. He had a .990 OPS with 23 RBI. His success was recognized around the league and helped catapulted him into first place in the voting for the third base position for the All-Star Game. Josh Donaldson was becoming a great offensive and defensive force for the Oakland A’s.
However, June has been a different story. He has only hit .176 since June 1st and has not gathered a hit in the past four games. Additionally, in Monday night’s game, Donaldson made three throwing errors. This is the first time he has ever made more than one error in a regular season game in which he has started. With these three errors and another error in Tuesday’s game, Donaldson leads the team and the rest of the MLB third basemen with the most fielding errors with a total of 13.
Donaldson told ESPN’s 95.7 The Game on Tuesday that Monday night’s game was one of those games where nothing seemed to go right. Some believe that the timing of Donaldson’s step before swinging is effecting his production. On defense, he could not seem to get his feet to move the way he wanted them too.
This may have all started after Orioles’ third baseman Manny Machado snapped at Donaldson for tagging him out during the June 6th game in Baltimore. The rest of the series was tense between not only between Machado and Donaldson but between Machado and the whole Athletics’ team. Machado was ultimately thrown out of Sunday’s game after he tried to launch his bat at either A’s reliever Fernando Abad or backup third baseman Alberto Callaspo who had subbed in for Donaldson at that point in the game.
Many are worried that Donaldson is falling into a slump. This could be devastating for the Oakland A’s. Just last week, Donaldson led the team in batting average, RBI, home runs, hits, and OPS. Now he only leads the team in homers and hits. Critics believe that a slump is inevitable after how well he did during May.
Before Tuesday night’s game, Donaldson came out early for batting practice to take a few extra swings. Many are worried he is psyching himself out and trying almost too hard to blast one over the back wall. If Donaldson can just relax and focus on playing his game, he should be back in the swing of things in no time.