Devon Travis felt like a baseball player again.
The 24-year old started the season in a dream scenario, winning the starting second baseman job for the Toronto Blue Jays out of spring training.
Travis started his first Major League season with a hot bat and solid defense. Then in a game against Cleveland on April 20 a bad hop of the baseball caught him in the left shoulder.
Friday night he made his return to the game as the designated hitter for the Buffalo Bisons in the first half of a doubleheader.
He went 0 for 4 in the leadoff spot as the Herd dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field. Travis did not play in the second game.
The most important thing for Travis was being pain free – and back in the game.
“I feel great. Obviously no hits didn’t really help the team today but it felt great to be back out here,” Travis said. “The shoulder felt great. … I felt like a baseball player today.”
Travis played all of last season in Double-A Erie with the Detroit Tigers organization and was traded to the Blue Jays for Anthony Gose in the offseason.
Making his first Major League Opening Day roster, Travis ran with the opportunity, hitting .271 with seven home runs while driving in 26 runs.
“I guess the best way I could explain it would be like a dream literally – wake up every day, go to the ballpark,” Travis said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about forever and having that opportunity to do that and have a little bit of success to start was just icing on the cake. It’s pretty awesome.
“Making that jump from Double-A up there was definitely pretty big. … I ask a lot of questions. All day long I’m asking” Josh “Donaldson,” Jose “Bautista, anybody I can. I want to pick their brain and obviously they’re at the top of the game at their position, so I want to know everything they’re thinking.”
He continued to watch, ask questions and learn while he was rehabbing his shoulder. Travis tried to play through the injury, but in 14 games after being hit with the ball, he hit just .185 and finally was placed on the disabled list.
“It’s tough to deal with that, especially early on in your career,” Travis said. “You’re living your dream and boom, the next thing you know you’re hit with a ball and find yourself on the DL. … I found myself going crazy a lot of days just sitting there at my locker kind of staring blank. Like I said it’s really good to be back on a baseball field again. I had a lot of fun today.”
The plan, as known to Travis, is for him to play three games in Buffalo, ending his rehab stint on Sunday. He’s looking forward to getting back to second base.
“DH is tough, man,” Travis said. “It’s kinda hard to sit there and stay locked in the whole time. I’m really looking forward to getting out to second base.”