Josh Donaldson on MLB Network: Speaks About His Defense, Artificial Turf and Russell Martin

Yesterday may have been an off-day for the Toronto Blue Jays, but many of the players were still hard at work on their days off giving radio interviews and making TV appearances. Josh Donaldson was no exception, as he visited the MLB Network studios.

There, Donaldson touched on several topics including his defense, playing on turf at he Rogers Centre, and what he thought about his new teammate, Russell Martin. Here’s a quick recap of their chat, or you can watch the full interview below.


Josh Donaldson is a quite unique baseball player in that he’s very cognizant of Sabermetrics, especially how the defensive aspect of his game affects something like Wins Above Replacement. And not surprisingly, Donaldson is proud of his work in the field.

“I take a lot of pride in my defense. Being a former catcher, I understand how hard it is to get outs. I understand the importance of getting every out. When there’s a ground ball double play, I want to be able to make the proper feed so we can turn the double play and get out of the inning.”

Donaldson was also asked about how he’s planning on making the transition from playing on natural grass in Oakland to the artificial turf at the Rogers Centre.

“I definitely think there’s going to be an adjustment. But I’ve already talked to the trainers and the guys who have been there – Reyes and Joey Bats. I think the most important thing is to be proactive. Not allow something to linger, linger, linger … and all of a sudden you end up on the DL. Try to do something to make sure the body’s moving right; and from there, I can take care of the rest.”

And after playing the weekend series at Exhibition Stadium in Montreal, apparently the turf played much harder than Donaldson initially thought, as evidenced by this play.

“I don’t know how the turf is compared to Montreal, but I had a little diving play in Montreal – I came up and I was seeing stars afterwards. Yeah, that is pretty hard underneath there.”

Lastly, the MLB Network panel inquired about how Josh Donaldson is getting along with his new teammates in Toronto, and Donaldson revealed an interesting anecdote about Russell Martin.

“I was talking to Russell Martin the other day, and I was like “Man, when we played against you when you were with the Pirates, I don’t know if I liked you or not’.”

That all must be water under the bridge now because Josh Donaldson stores one of his cars at Russell Martin’s home in Florida.

Image via The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.