A Jays From the Couch look at projections made for Devon Travis’ 2016 season with the Toronto Blue Jays
Just like many fans, we here at Jays From the Couch are anticipating the return of the Blue Jays’ Devon Travis. After a surprise 2015 season, that was abruptly ended with a shoulder problem, it is hard to determine how Travis will return in 2016.
After getting off to a hot start in 2015 (269/333/500, 7 HR, 26 RBI), the Florida State University alumnus was sidelined with an inflamed left shoulder from May 17 thru June 26. He was better than expected upon his return to the lineup, with a slash line of (357/402/488, 1 HR, 9 RBI) over 26 games. All of which made the return to the DL on July 31 that much more disappointing for him and the club.
While a known issue to Travis, tests discovered he was dealing with an extra bone in his shoulder, a genetic condition known as, Os Acromiale. After exploratory surgery didn’t have the desired results, the recommended procedure would see screws inserted to help stabilize the extra bone. This procedure left the rookie second basemen unable to resume baseball activities for 16-20 weeks. This meant a return to the 2016 lineup would be delayed until at least early May, depending on his ability to recover and get back into playing shape.
Considering everything Travis has dealt with, and will have to deal with going forward, setting projections for him is rather difficult. Not because I don’t believe he is the player we saw in the first half of 2015, but due to the inability to decide if he will be the same player due to his injury. Although it does seem he is progressing nicely through his extensive rehab stint, it remains unclear if he will completely bounce back.
In addition, it would be prudent to factor in the league’s knowledge of Travis’ game. Despite his shortened season, teams will have enough video to help design their approach to him going forward. With baseball being a game of constant adjustments, we will have to wait to see what adjustments pitching staffs around the league make, and if Travis can make the appropriate adjustments in return to stay productive.
All things considered, I’m still high on Devon Travis, and his ability stay productive at the top of the best lineup in Major League Baseball; however, my 2016 projections for him will remain tempered, until proven otherwise. Optimum health provided, and earlier factors included, I can envision a season somewhere between the Steamer and average projections. A 2016 of 270/335/440, 10 HR, 45 RBI from the top of the Blue Jays order, I believe, would be considered successful.
Credit: Keith Allison-flickr-CreativeCommons: under CC BY-SA 2.0
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.