The Toronto Blue Jays open a four-game series tonight in Minnesota against the Twins
Help is on the way for the Toronto Blue Jays, and it could be arriving sooner than expected.
Second baseman Devon Travis has been moved up to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons as he continues to rehab from an offseason shoulder procedure that kept him out of action throughout spring training.
At the onset of Travis’ rehab stint it seemed possible that he would progress through double-A New Hampshire before arriving in Buffalo, but the Blue Jays have decided to bypass that level altogether.
After joining the Dunedin Blue Jays on May 13th, Travis went 5-for-14 (.357 AVG) with two doubles and five runs batted in. In 62 games with the Blue Jays as a rookie last season, the 25-year-old hit .304 with eight home runs and an impressive .361 on-base percentage.
Once Travis is prepared to return to the 25-man roster, the Blue Jays will be left with the choice of whose place he takes. Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins are his evident peers in the middle infield, with Goins’ very slow offensive start doing him no favours. Recent waiver claim Jimmy Paredes could be an option, too, depending on how the team values his bat and positional flexibility.
This is good news if you’re Franklin Morales, and frankly, it could prove to be fine news for the Blue Jays as well. Morales doesn’t appear close to a return, but if he’s able to give the Blue Jays a similar performance to his 2015 in Kansas City, that’s good value.
Last season Morales pitched 62.1 innings with a 3.18 ERA, holding left-handed hitters to an impressive .558 OPS. If he’s able to return quicker than the injured Brett Cecil — which he’s expected to — then there should be a job waiting for him. Or, at least, an extended look.
Arnold Leon’s brief and unsteady stint with the Blue Jays has come to a close. He had been with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons being stretched into a starter to be used as depth.
While it’s possible the Blue Jays replace his depth with a minor move, it had become apparent that he was not expected to have a significant impact on the major league roster.