04/29/11 11:47 AM ET
Donald activated; Rodriguez returned from Bucs
Both players head to Triple-A to join crowded Columbus infield
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
Neither is joining the Indians. They'll both be in the Triple-A Columbus infield.
Donald was activated off the 15-day disabled list Friday and optioned to Columbus. He had been expected to be the Tribe's regular third baseman at the outset this season, but the fractured left middle finger he suffered in Spring Training opened the door for veteran Jack Hannahan to heist the hot corner. Hannahan's superb defensive play and surprising offensive contributions for the first-place Indians have cemented his status as a starter.
So, Donald will remain in Columbus, where he had continued a Minor League rehab assignment that began at Double-A Akron earlier this month. Donald is batting .200 (5-for-25) with two stolen bases in the Minors. His rehab stint was briefly sidetracked by a groin injury, but his reinstatement from the DL shows he has cleared all medical hurdles.
As for Rodriguez, the Indians lost him to the Pirates as the first overall pick of last December's Rule 5 Draft, but he was unable to stick with the Bucs and was, by rule, offered back to the Indians. They paid the Pirates $25,000 -- half of the fee the Pirates paid the Tribe when they drafted Rodriguez -- to get him back after Pittsburgh designated him for assignment earlier this week.
The 26-year-old Rodriguez was 1-for-12 to start the season with the Pirates. He hit .293 with 12 homers, 23 doubles and 46 RBIs in 86 games with Columbus last year.
Columbus' infield picture has become crowded with Donald and Rodriguez in the mix. Columbus already has top third-base prospect Lonnie Chisenhall, top second-base prospect Jason Kipnis and Cord Phelps, who plays short, second and third.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.