Blue Jays: Devon Travis to try left field in 2019
One of the infield’s biggest question marks, Devon Travis will reportedly get into some games at left field to earn some at-bats due to the crowded infield picture.
With an incredibly full infield roster at the big league level this year, the Blue Jays will likely have to get creative to make sure that all of their major league infielders get a sufficient amount of at-bats.
With a recent report, the question of how the team will do that has become just a little bit clearer.
According to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun, manager Charlie Montoyo will send second baseman Devon Travis to the outfield in 2019, noting that Travis will “likely see some time in left field this season to get extra at-bats”.
Travis, who turns 28 on February 21, has never appeared in a major league game as an outfielder, having logged 309 of his 312 games as a second baseman, and the remaining three at DH.
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With a decent arm and slightly below average range, Travis, who carries a .978 fielding percentage in 2500 innings at second, could be a passable left fielder if developed correctly in spring training.
Current projections, most notably Fangraphs’ Steamer system, predict that the native of West Palm Beach, Florida will appear in approximately 90 games for the Blue Jays in 2019, with Steamer, in particular, projecting a slash of .264/.305/.425 in 362 plate appearances.
Of course, a spot on the team is far from guaranteed for Travis, who posted a meagre .656 OPS in 103 games in 2018. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Brandon Drury, Freddy Galvis and Richard Urena all appear poised to get significant at-bats in 2019, taking away from Travis’ chances.
The current depth chart on MLB.com has Travis as the starting second baseman, while Roster Resource has him slotted in at Triple-A Buffalo, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as the everyday second baseman and Galvis at short.