When the Toronto Blue Jays traded Ben Revere to the Washington Nationals earlier this year in exchange for Drew Storen it not only strengthened the bullpen, but it also left a vacancy in the lead-off spot in the lineup.
Second baseman Devon Travis, whose 2015 season was cut short due to a shoulder injury, wants the job when he’s back to full health.
“To think that I have the opportunity to hit in front of guys like Donaldson and Bautista and [Encarnacion], Tulowitzki, [Martin] – I mean the list seriously could go on and on – it would be an awesome opportunity,” Travis told Dean Blundell & Co. Wednesday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “When I’m healthy I believe I could be a good guy for the job, however I’ve got to do my best right now to get healthy.
“Really, with that lineup you can hit whoever anywhere. It really doesn’t matter one through nine so anywhere I hit in that lineup would be great but if lead-off is the spot when I’m healthy there’s nothing I would love more.”
LISTEN: Devon Travis on health status, hitting lead-off, competition at second base, Rogers Centre's new dirt infield and Jose Bautista's Super Bowl party
Travis is currently in Dunedin, Fla., continuing his rehab after undergoing surgery in November. The Blue Jays discovered Travis had a pre-existing acromion bone non-union in his left shoulder. Doctors recommended a procedure that included inserting screws to stabilize the extra bone in his shoulder. Travis said the condition, known as an Os Acromiale, is genetic.
“I’m just happy to be on the road to recovery. I’m about three months out right now, so everything’s going good,” Travis said. “I’ve played with [the condition] my whole life. I’ve never had any shoulder issues. Whether it was coincidental or something happened that actually caused it no one really knows…It gradually got worse and worse and worse to where I couldn’t hide the pain anymore from anybody.”
The 24-year-old hit .304/.361/.498 with eight home runs in 62 games last season after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers in November 2014 for Anthony Gose. It was a promising start to his rookie campaign and Travis hopes to regain that form in 2016.
Travis added that he’s unaware of the team’s plans in terms of what to do at second base when he's healthy. Travis had nothing but complimentary things to say about Ryan Goins, the man who replaced him last season, and explained all he can do right now is focus on fully recovering.
"Having to sit out half a season and looking and seeing everything that was going on with the fans and the city, your teammates look like they’re having a blast. It’s everything you dream of. Injuries are part of the game so it definitely was a big learning process for me to know that I have to take care of my body and I’ve got to listen to my body."