Travis opening some eyes at Blue Jays camp

Travis opening some eyes at Blue Jays camp

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Devon Travis is doing everything he possibly can to make the Blue Jays' upcoming decision at second base extremely difficult.

The feeling going into camp was that Travis faced an uphill battle to crack the Opening Day roster. But so far he has done well to change that perception.

Travis has been swinging the bat better than any of his competitors and his fielding has exceeded expectations.

Maicer Izturis still appears to be the favorite at second and if he wins the job, Travis likely will begin the year at Triple-A. But it might not be very long before he factors into the mix at the big league level.

"He's settled in," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He came in with a great reputation and the kid can hit. Like any young guy, first camp here, I thought he was pressing a little bit early.

"But he's having some success, he's settling in, he's getting some confidence here and he's getting some games under his belt. So I think he looks great. He's getting better and better. He's got a chance to be a real good one."

Travis started off slow, but he is now hitting .300 with two extra-base hits and three RBIs in 12 games this spring. The bat has never really been in question though. Instead it's the glove, and to date, Travis has done an acceptable job at second base.

The real test for Travis will come when he plays on an artificial surface, but that won't be able to happen until he plays at Rogers Centre in Toronto. On the natural grass in Spring Training, he's looked just fine and arguably plays as well defensively as fellow competitor Izturis.

"That's the one area they thought. 'You know he's a great hitter but he needs some work defensively,'" Gibbons said. "I disagree. I think he's been great down there."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.