When the outfielder first received word of Carl Crawford's wrist surgery in January, he didn't overthink the situation. The 33-year-old just kept his routine the same, patiently biding his time.
"Every offseason, I try to put myself in the best situation to help contribute to the team and be ready when my name is called upon," McDonald said. "Hopefully, Carl will be back soon. He's a big part of our team."
As an outfielder, McDonald is partaking in manager Bobby Valentine's new philosophy of a "no-shag camp." Typically, outfielders are tapped to roam the outfield and shag fly balls during batting practice.
However, Valentine has abandoned that approach in his first spring training as Red Sox manager, electing to have coaches collect the baseballs instead. The skipper applied that regulation in order to have players capitalize on every valuable minute of practice.
So far, McDonald can notice the benefits.
"It's efficient," McDonald said. "We've been getting a lot of work done. Obviously, it's the first time we're not doing the shagging, but we're doing a lot of other things that are preparing us for game situations. We're getting a lot of stuff done in a short amount of time."
With that extra attention to detail, McDonald is looking to build on the six homers, 24 RBIs and .236 batting average he had last season.