When he’s on his game, no player on the Blue Jays, with the exception of Josh Donaldson, can carry this offense the way Devon Travis does. I don’t so much worry about what some people are saying about Travis and his inability to remain healthy. Not only is he a .300 hitter, but when he’s able to play for an extended period of time, his defense at 2nd base was steadily getting better.
There have been rumblings that the Blue Jays should consider trading Travis now, as some believe he’ll be injury prone for the remainder of his career. First off, Travis’ value on the trade market is very little at the moment, especially compared to what he’d provide if he manages to stay healthy. As for assuming he’ll be susceptible to injuries for the rest of his playing days, that’s just bogus, and an unfair assumption to make for a player who’s still just 26 years old.
In 2016 when Travis hurt his knee in the final few weeks of the regular season, it was the first we’d seen of any knee problems with Toronto’s young 2nd baseman. Unfortunately for Travis, he rushed back for the 2016 ALDS against Texas and ended up hurting his knee again, this time on the very first somewhat physically demanding play he had to make at 2nd base.
Not only did Travis rush back for the 2016 post-season, but he was also rushed back for the start of the 2017 regular season. At the beginning of spring training this year, Travis was still rehabbing his surgically repaired knee and running light wind sprints. He was nowhere near to being game ready, and yet after just 13 AB’s in spring ball, there he was batting lead-off for the Blue Jays on Opening Day.
If Travis isn’t ready to play at the beginning of the 2018 season, so be it, let him continue to heal while Ryan Goins holds things down at 2nd. I’m not entirely sure the bad rap Travis is getting for his injury woes is really all that fair to begin with. In 2015, his season ended prematurely on account of a freak shoulder injury which has since healed nicely. As for his knee problems, had he not been rushed back in both 2016 and 2017, he may not even be in this unfortunate position to begin with.
When healthy, Travis has the potential to be one of the better 2nd basemen in baseball. Rather than throw-in the towel on Travis after a few inconvenient injuries, Toronto needs to continue supporting this special player and then watch him respond by showing them and the world how much he’s really capable of when healthy for an entire season.