Blue Jays’ Devon Travis begins rehab assignment with Dunedin

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (Orlin Wagner/AP)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Devon Travis began a rehabilitation assignment at single-A Dunedin with seven innings at second base and an RBI double in four at-bats Friday, a major point of progress for the Toronto Blue Jays infielder.

The last time Travis played in an official game of any kind was last July 28 – when Troy Tulowitzki was acquired from the Colorado Rockies and Felix Doubront started against the Philadelphia Phillies – before the left shoulder woes that led to a pair of surgeries flared up.

A November procedure to fuse bones in his shoulder meant a late start to the season for him, and a slow and steady build up culminated in the start of a rehab assignment, which for position players can last up to a maximum of 20 days.

“He’s the happiest guy on the planet right now,” said Blue Jays head trainer George Poulis. “He was hungry from Day 1, finally he’s feeling better, sliding, running, hitting, so it’s great. Pretty much he’s going through his spring training in 20 days or so.”

The plan is for Travis to build toward playing nine innings in the field consistently, and for the time being he’ll have some DH time mixed in with games at second base.

“It’s a progression that will get him ready to go for when he’s ready to join us,” said Poulis. “He’ll make the rounds and eventually end up at Buffalo, most likely.”

The Blue Jays haven’t yet decided if he’ll stop at double-A New Hampshire before reaching triple-A Buffalo. His progress will help dictate that.

“Never would have thought it would have taken this long with the original diagnosis,” said manager John Gibbons. “He has a simple, short stroke. He gets his timing a little quicker than most I would think. Good news.”

In other injury news:

  • Left-hander Aaron Loup (forearm strain) starts a rehab assignment with Dunedin on Saturday. “He’s performed all the steps, is doing great, feeling great, we’re very optimistic that he’s going to do his progression and be fine,” said Poulis. Pitchers can spend up to 30 days on rehab, but relievers typically move quicker.
  • There’s nothing new to report for left-hander Franklin Morales, who remains without a timeline for return. “Still playing catch, still building up his arm-strength, still trying to get where he needs to be as far as feeling strong,” said Poulis.
  • Right-hander Bo Schultz is scheduled to join Buffalo in the next step of his rehab assignment. In five games at Dunedin and New Hampshire so far, he’s logged 4.1 innings and allowed five earned runs.
  • Catching prospect Max Pentecost was activated from the disabled list and resumed playing for the first time since the summer of 2014, when he was chosen in the first round by the Blue Jays. He went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs as the DH, where he’ll remain for now as he continues a throwing program for his thrice surgically replaced shoulder. “We’re very optimistic (about his shoulder), we just want to get him some activity and it just makes sense to at least get him hitting,” said Poulis. “His mind gets better and he’s in the mix with all the guys down there.”

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