Travis will resume starting 2B duties upon return

Travis will resume starting 2B duties upon return

TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed that Devon Travis will take over the starting duties at second base when he returns from a left shoulder injury at some point within the next week.

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The news should hardly come as a surprise considering Travis was one of the club's most valuable players in April. His production dipped in May as he attempted to play through a sore shoulder, but a return to health will see Travis back at his regular spot.

Infielder Ryan Goins has been performing admirably while filling in, but he will return to a utility-infielder role with occasional starts at second base, shortstop, third base and possibly even left field.

"He's our second baseman," Gibbons said of Travis. "[Goins] will still play a lot, we'll bounce him around. He'll get action at second, we can play him anywhere.

"We'll be able to give [Jose] Reyes a day here and there. We'll be able to give [Josh] Donaldson a breather if we need. Depending on [who is on] the mound, [Goins] could be in the outfield spots. He'll get a lot of playing time."

Travis began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday night. He could return this weekend, but a more realistic scenario would see the rookie join the Blue Jays on Monday in St. Petersburg for the opener of a three-game series against the Rays.

The 24-year-old Travis has been out since May 16 with the shoulder injury. He wasn't able to pinpoint the exact timing of his injury, but it likely occurred when a hard grounder bounced off his left collarbone area during a game against the Braves on April 19.

Travis attempted to make a return in late May, but he was shut down during a rehab assignment on May 29 because of lingering soreness. He began another rehab stint on Monday and went 1-for-11 with an RBI and two strikeouts in three games for Double-A New Hampshire.

The Blue Jays are expected to return to a seven-man bullpen in the near future. Toronto has been carrying an extra reliever for most of June, but that will have to change soon, with the latest date being when Travis returns.

"That's probably going to happen pretty soon," Gibbons said of taking away one reliever. "Not necessarily for Travis, but we need the flexibility and to give guys a break, too."

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