Blue Jays Notebook: Tulowitzki visits specialist; surgery for Travis

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is progressing, "but I don’t think he can go out there and throw a baseball or swing a bat."(Kathy Willens/AP)

ATLANTA – The Toronto Blue Jays still aren’t precisely sure what to expect from Troy Tulowitzki this year, but a visit with a specialist in Boston may provide valuable information about the star shortstop’s timetable.

Tulowitzki sustained upper back muscle bruises and a small crack in his left shoulder blade Saturday at Yankee Stadium when he collided with Kevin Pillar in centre field. Immediately following the collision Tulowitzki had trouble lifting his left arm, but he’s making progress that will be assessed by a specialist in Boston.

“He’s feeling better,” manager John Gibbons said. “He’s progressing, but I don’t think he can go out there and throw a baseball or swing a bat.”

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The Blue Jays tentatively expected Tulowitzki to miss two or three weeks, which would allow for a potential return at the end of the regular season. Gibbons expects him to re-join the team in Toronto, where the club can monitor his progress over the course of the final homestand of the season.

In the meantime, Ryan Goins and Cliff Pennington are providing excellent defence up the middle, but there’s no replacing Tulowitzki’s career .877 OPS.

SURGERY FOR TRAVIS: Second baseman Devon Travis will have exploratory surgery Wednesday on the injured left shoulder that forced him to the disabled list, ending any hopes of a 2015 return. Doctors haven’t been able to pinpoint the issue plaguing Travis, but the upcoming scope could provide clarity.

Travis took a ball off of his collarbone in May and was on the disabled list from May 17-June 26. He re-injured the shoulder July 28, and formally hit the disabled list for the second time on July 31.

The 24-year-old hit eight home runs with an .859 OPS in 62 games this season, his first at the MLB level. The Blue Jays initially acquired him in the off-season trade that sent Anthony Gose to the Detroit Tigers.

EARLY RETURNS: Marcus Stroman felt a little under the weather earlier this week, but he’ll have the chance to rest up in Toronto before Friday’s start against the Boston Red Sox. He left Atlanta early to avoid a late-night arrival with the rest of the Blue Jays.

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