The Toronto Blue Jays‘ under-performing offence will receive a welcome boost Wednesday. Devon Travis, who had been rehabbing a shoulder injury at triple-A Buffalo, will rejoin the Blue Jays in New York for the remainder of their series against the Yankees.
The 25-year-old second baseman had six hits, including two doubles, in five rehab games at triple-A, but wasn’t expected to join the Blue Jays until after their current road trip. Before joining the Bisons, he picked up five hits in four games with the Blue Jays’ Class A Dunedin affiliate.
Blue Jays second basemen rank last in the American League with a .585 OPS, so the return of Travis will provide the team with a welcome boost, even if it’d be unfair to assume he’ll replicate his 2015 numbers. The Blue Jays don’t have a traditional leadoff hitter — they’ve been putting Jose Bautista atop the lineup of late — so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Travis mixed in at the leadoff spot, where he batted 22 times in 2015.
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Travis posted an .859 OPS with eight home runs as a rookie, but hit the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation on two occasions. He was initially sidelined from May 17 to June 26 and he returned to the DL for the remainder of the season on July 31. Exploratory surgery followed in September, and Dr. David Altchek inserted screws in his shoulder to stabilize an extra bone in November.
The Blue Jays optioned Pat Venditte to triple-A to create room on the 25-man roster for Travis. The move gives manager John Gibbons a five-man bench consisting of Ryan Goins, Darwin Barney, Jimmy Paredes, Josh Thole and Ezequiel Carrera. Toronto’s now carrying just six relievers.
Troy Tulowitzki gets the day off Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Yankees with tightness in his right quad.