Blue Jays option Devon Travis, Putting Infield Depth to the Test

The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned ice-cold 2B Devon Travis to Triple-A Buffalo, testing this offseason’s depth moves.

 

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Early Sunday morning, the Blue Jays announced a move that demoted 27-year old second baseman Devon Travis to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, summoning an extra reliever in 2017 breakout Carlos Ramirez.

 

 

To say Travis was struggling would be an understatement. Despite a strong game against Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox the other night, he has just two additional extra-base hits through 66 plate appearances in 18 games this season. At the moment he’s slashing a dismal .148/.212/.246 and is putting up a Ryan Goins-ian OPS+ of 24. Travis has struck out 18 times and walked just twice, has stolen no bases and driven in only three teammates.

 

Standard Batting
Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB
2016 101 432 410 54 123 28 1 11 50 4 1 20 87 .300 .332 .454 .785 108 186
2017 50 197 185 22 48 18 0 5 24 4 2 7 38 .259 .291 .438 .729 88 81
2018 18 66 61 7 9 1 1 1 3 0 0 2 18 .148 .212 .246 .458 24 15
162 162 655 612 85 173 46 1 18 79 8 3 33 130 .282 .322 .447 .769 104 274
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2018.
Carlos Ramirez, who normally wouldn’t have been sent to Triple-A had the team not signed a barrel full of bounce-back veteran types in March, will take Travis’ spot on the roster. In Buffalo, Ramirez has only made it into five games, tossing seven innings and posting a 6.00 ERA, striking out six and walking six in the treacherous International League weather to start the season.
Register Pitching
Year Age Tm Lev ERA RAvg G GF SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2017 26 2 Teams AA-AAA 0.00 0.48 25 8 3 37.2 16 2 0 0 10 0 45 1 140 0.690 3.8 0.0 2.4 10.8 4.50
2017 26 TOR MLB 2.70 2.70 12 1 0 16.2 6 5 5 3 3 0 14 1 58 0.540 3.2 1.6 1.6 7.6 4.67
2017 26 Buffalo AAA 0.00 0.00 7 1 0 14.0 6 0 0 0 3 0 16 0 50 0.643 3.9 0.0 1.9 10.3 5.33
2017 26 New Hampshire AA 0.00 0.76 18 7 3 23.2 10 2 0 0 7 0 29 1 90 0.718 3.8 0.0 2.7 11.0 4.14
2018 27 Buffalo AAA 6.00 6.00 5 1 0 6.0 2 4 4 0 6 1 6 1 28 1.333 3.0 0.0 9.0 9.0 1.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2018.
Ramirez will slot into the bullpen in middle relief, likely, with most of the bullpen roles unchanged. The rotation, to put it lightly, has been poor to start the season, leading to an overworked bullpen. Hopefully Ramirez can eat some innings and hopefully will see more high-leverage situations, rather than the mop-up duty the bullpen has been subjected to so far this weekend versus the Texas Rangers.

The Blue Jays without Devon Travis

While no player wants to see their brothers demoted, this move leads to an incredible opportunity for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Called up late last week, Gurriel is off to a solid start, with a HR, SB and four RBI, though he’s just 5-for-22 with no walks. That being said, he’s making those hits count. With Travis out of the lineup, Gurriel will probably see more at-bats, more time a second base, and allow more lineup tinkering for Manager John Gibbons to work in steady at-bats for Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte.

 

The Blue Jays ability to option Devon Travis to Triple-A speaks volumes to the work the front office did this offseason. With injuries to Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki prior to Travis’ optioning, the Jays have still managed to field a major-league caliber infield, cobbled together with Yangervis Solarte, Aledmys Diaz and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and they’ve done it without giving every day ABs to Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney, and just 19 plate appearances to glove-first Gift Ngoepe.

 

Hopefully, Travis won’t be down for long, and he can figure out what is plaguing his production and get it fixed. Until then, the Blue Jays have options, most of which have been in the system for only a few months, and a potentially surprising option in Gurriel.

 

 

 


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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.

Roy-Z

Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.