Travis' time to return is running out

Travis' time to return is running out

ANAHEIM -- The Blue Jays continue to be in a holding pattern when it comes to Devon Travis and his injured right shoulder, as the rookie second baseman remains without a timetable for his return.

Travis has been out since July 28 and has yet to start swinging a bat. When he does receive medical clearance, he faces an uphill battle to get back onto the big league roster.

The ideal situation would see Travis go on a rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues, but time is starting to run out. Triple-A Buffalo wraps up its season on Sept. 7, which means Travis will need to increase his baseball activities in the near future to take advantage of that schedule.

"Not that I know of," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said when asked whether Travis had been making any progress. "I think Buffalo's season goes until the seventh, so there's still time, but I don't know when he's going to start swinging the bat."

There is still hope that Travis will return at some point in September. He is scheduled to join the team early next week in Texas, where he will be re-examined by doctors to get a closer look at his shoulder.

The 24-year-old sustained the injury in late April but played through pain until the middle of May. He then missed approximately six weeks before returning at the end of June, but within a month he was back on the DL.

The Blue Jays will have to make do without Travis for now, but there's no question his return would provide a boost to a lineup that is already the best in baseball. Travis hit .304 with an .859 OPS in 62 games this year, and when healthy he has been everything Toronto could have hoped for and more from a starting second baseman.

Ryan Goins and the recently acquired Cliff Pennington will continue to platoon at second base during Travis' absence.

"We needed that extra guy," Gibbons said. "Pennington is a good fielder. He contributes a little bit against lefties."

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.