If the Toronto Blue Jays are going to exceed expectations in 2017 they will need Devon Travis to be the straw that stirs the Blue Jays drink at the top of the batting order.
Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis has been snake-bitten with shoulder and knee injuries thus far in his career and his availability for opening day is still questionable.
President Mark Shapiro informed “Tim and Sid” yesterday that “We’re still in a little bit of uncertainty over when he starts his year, whether it’s Day 1, Day 10, Day 14, because he’s still coming back off of an injury,”
Travis is best suited setting the table at the top of the batting order for Manager John Gibbons and has a knack for grinding out quality at-bats and getting on base. The 25-year old is entering his third season in the majors after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers for Anthony Gose.
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The infielder batted .300 in 2016 swatting 123 hits in 432 plate appearances while posting a .785 OPS. In 2015 Travis batted .304 in 239 plate appearances in his rookie campaign. Travis has led off an inning 191 career times batting .285 with an .838 OPS connecting for 7 of his career 19 homers while being the first batter of an inning.
A healthy 2017 season could pay huge dividends in the maturation process for Travis moving forward. The opportunity to utilize Travis in the leadoff spot also affords Gibby the luxury of spreading out his power in the lineup batting Jose Bautista in the three hole as opposed to leading off.
Although Travis doesn’t walk a ton he does have decent splits hitting righties at a .307 clip and lefties to the tune of .285 in his career. He has the abilities and skill set to be a main cog in the offence jamming up the base paths for the big guns.
My ideal lineup looks something like this as it stands right now.
As far as I am concerned if Travis is healthy there is no debate, he is the Blue Jays table setter at the top of the lineup in 2017.