Blue Jays’ Devon Travis: Chillin’ & Thrillin’


The Blue Jays spent all off season trying to solve their concerns at second base. They brought in guys like Ramon Santiago to go along with others like Ryan Goins and  Maicer Izturis. But, one of more intriguing moves of the off season was trading Anthony Gose to the Tigers for Devon Travis. At the time, this seemed like a move more for the future; that perhaps this could help the club in 2016 at the earliest. But, thanks to a relaxed, fun loving approach to baseball, Devon Travis is poised to become the Opening Day second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

In sending Anthony Gose to the Tigers, the Blue Jays were getting rid of a guy who had unrealized potential and picking up a kid who not many had heard of. But, throughout the spring, fans have started to find out just who he is. They’re falling in love with the 24 yr old from West Palm Beach. When he appeared on our podcast, we were struck by his outgoing, energetic personality. He also appeared on Sportsnet’s Blue Jays Talk radio call in show and entertained the audience. Indeed, Travis is becoming more familiar to Blue Jays fans and they like what they see.

Travis has been touted as a tough, all out player who will do everything he can to win. He projects to be a solid big league player. He may not be an All Star every year, but he’ll help his team win. And, when he was with the Tigers organization, he was told to focus on the skills he already possessed as opposed to those he did not. David Laurila of had the opportunity to talk to Travis about his time with Detroit:

“Every single day they were on me. At first I was like, ‘Man, do these guys even like me?’ But looking back, I’m thankful for everything they did.”

Their message was not necessarily to turn weaknesses into strengths, but really hone in on those strengths so that they become even better. One of the adjustments he made was to become less “machine” like. “I’d never felt fully comfortable with my stance. I’d kind of felt like a machine, and in pro ball, with pitchers throwing harder with all this movement, it’s tougher to be a machine. You need to have a fluid motion.”

This less rigid approach seems to be more in line with his personality. Devon Travis is a happy, fun loving guy. He enjoys the game of baseball. And, when he brings that into his game, he excels. In such a high pressure environment as Major League Baseball, one would think that this approach would be even more difficult. And, in his case, Travis had the pressure of trying to make the team. Or, at least that is what we all thought. Instead, as he tells Laurila, he put pressure on himself to just fit in with his new club; to show them that he belongs.

Nothing accomplishes this goal of belonging than performing. Yet, as Spring Training began, he was off to a poor start. Perhaps, he was putting too much pressure on himself. Through his first 4 games, he hadn’t a single hit and had just one through his first 6. But, something changed. Since then, he’s been on fire. It is like night and day. He is now sitting at .340/.389/.460. And, he’s removing any doubt that existed about his glove. Manager John Gibbons says Travis can “flat out play”.

So, what happened? Well, according to him: “I was pressing, trying to do more than I should have, instead of just having fun” Can it be that simple? Perhaps Devon Travis is the living example of that old cliche of relaxing and having fun. As a fan, it is refreshing to see someone who not only is successful while having so much fun, but actually depending on it to succeed.

In such a pressure cooker that competing for a roster spot creates, Devon Travis is taking his relaxed, fun loving approach all the way to a likely starting job.

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