Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis will likely miss some or all of Spring Training following left shoulder surgery.
Devon Travis likely to miss some/all of ST. Timeline provided by #BlueJays would have him resuming baseball activity sometime after March 9.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 18, 2015
As Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports, the team discovered Travis has a pre-existing condition in his left shoulder which could have caused damage down the road. Travis opted to have surgery now based on a doctor’s recommendation.
Should the injury extend into the regular season, it’s a tough blow for Toronto.
Travis was a revelation in 2015. Acquired in a one-for-one deal for Anthony Gose with the Detroit Tigers, Travis won the starting job out of Spring Training and produced impressive results. In 62 games, the 24-year-old hit eight home runs with 35 RBI, while providing adequate defense at second base. He was named the AL Rookie of the Month for April.
Travis hit the disabled list multiple times, and due to shoulder injuries, he didn’t play a game for the Blue Jays after being sidelined for the season in late July. He was one of the biggest bright spots before the Blue Jays big playoff run post-trade deadline.
The Blue Jays will turn to Ryan Goins should Travis miss any extended time with the injury. Goins proved to be an adequate replacement, as the slick-fielding infielder was a human highlight reel in the infield. Goins’ versatility defensively made him a regular in the Blue Jays lineup, as he appeared in 128 games as Travis and Troy Tulowitzki both missed serious time.
The knock on Goins will always be his offense. A career .234 hitter, Goins doesn’t have power or speed that makes him any type of threat in the batters box. He did show improvement at the plate in 2015, hitting a career-high five home runs, while posting a .250 average and .318 OBP. Those numbers spiked when Goins discovered new-found plate discipline in August and September, posting a frankly insane .442 and .347 OBP in those months respectively. I don’t expect him to find that gear again, as he only managed a .162 OBP in the playoffs, but he proved competent throughout the season. With a loaded Blue Jays lineup, they can afford to shelter his subpar bat, as long as he’s doing good work in the field.
The Blue Jays could look to add a depth player via free agency for good measure. The team lost Cliff Pennington to the Los Angeles Angels this offseason, and could replace him with another infielder who could play multiple positions like Gordon Beckham, but it’s more likely they’ll sign somebody on a minor league deal and wait it out unless Travis injury is more severe than initially indicated.
While Blue Jays fans must be excited to see what the new Troy Tulowitzki featured lineup looks like with Travis in it, not rushing him back is the best course of action. If he’s going to miss significant action, Goins has proved he can handle the position for the time being.