Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis will not be able to resume baseball activities for 16 to 20 weeks after undergoing left shoulder surgery, per a club announcement (via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, on Twitter). If that time frame holds, Travis will not be ready for Opening Day of the 2016 season.
Travis, 25 in February, was an early Rookie of the Year favorite before shoulder troubles slowed and eventually cut short his excellent 2015 campaign. Acquired from the Tigers in an offseason swap that sent Anthony Gose to Detroit, Travis burst onto the scene with a .304/.361/.498 batting line but was limited to just 62 games and 239 total plate appearances. It’s unclear exactly when he’ll be ready to join the Blue Jays, but for the early portion of the season, it seems safe to assume that Ryan Goins will man second base in Toronto, as he did following Travis’ 2015 injuries.
The question for Toronto is whether or not to seek additional second base depth beyond Goins. While bringing in a starting-caliber second baseman seems unlikely, the team did go out and acquire Cliff Pennington (who signed with the Angels yesterday) to add some infield depth late in the season. Making a similar type of addition, perhaps on a minor league deal, could make sense for the Blue Jays as they look to safeguard themselves against further injuries. Losing Goins, for instance, would greatly call their infield depth into question.
Starting pitching and relief help figure to remain Toronto’s primary focus, but some speculative depth options for the Jays could include names like Jonathan Herrera, Mike Aviles and Alberto Callaspo. A reunion with fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki would, of course, provide additional middle infield depth as well.