Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson will not be in the starting lineup for Tuesday's home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Rogers Centre because of a calf injury, according to broadcaster Hazel Mae, though he'll be available off the bench.
Donaldson remains one of the best hitters in baseball. In 2016, he hit .284 with 37 home runs, 99 RBI and 122 runs scored, and his production became all the more important this offseason when Edwin Encarnacion departed in free agency.
Headlined by Donaldson, the Blue Jays still possess a fearsome lineup that includes Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Kendrys Morales and Russell Martin. Toronto couldn't slug its way to a title in 2016, but it remains one of the favorites to reach the postseason again in 2017.
Without a healthy Donaldson, however, the Blue Jays' postseason odds would grow longer.
Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins are in line replace Donaldson, with Goins playing third Tuesday, but neither is capable of replicating his production. The three-time All-Star and 2015 American League MVP is the key cog for Toronto, and when he isn't on the field, the Blue Jays are a far less dangerous team.
Given that he's available off the bench, however, it doesn't appear the slugger has a serious injury.