Travis starts rehab assignment in Minors

Blue Jays close to having second baseman back from shoulder injury

Travis starts rehab assignment in Minors

ARLINGTON -- Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis is one step closer to a return to the Major Leagues as he began a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin on Friday night.

Travis had been participating in extended spring workouts for the past couple of weeks and received clearance on Thursday to take the next step. He has yet to appear in a big league game this season after undergoing offseason surgery on his left shoulder.

The 25-year-old Travis is allowed to be on a rehab assignment for 20 days. At the conclusion of that period, he would have to be added to the 25-man roster or be optioned to the Minor Leagues. If Travis has any setbacks, he can also be temporarily shut down before beginning another rehab.

"He's on a progression that will get him to play five innings, then seven innings and nine innings," Blue Jays head athletic trainer George Poulis said of Travis, who will alternate between second base and DH. "It's a progression that will get him ready to go for when he's ready to join us. He'll make the rounds and eventually end up at [Triple-A] Buffalo, most likely."

The timing of Travis' arrival in Toronto will depend entirely on how the next couple of weeks go. He will gradually work his way through the Minor League system, but the club will need to be cautious about not rushing him because Travis hasn't taken a big league at-bat since July 28.

Regardless of when Travis rejoins the Blue Jays, his progress is a big step in the right direction. Starting second baseman Ryan Goins has struggled with the bat this season and entered Friday night with a .160/.208/.230 slash line.

When Travis does return, he is expected to resume his status as the everyday second baseman. Toronto could then decide to option either Goins or utility infielder Darwin Barney to Triple-A. Before any of that is considered, though, Travis needs to prove he is all the way back. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons believes his type of swing should help speed things along.

"He has a simple, short stroke," Gibbons said. "He gets his timing a little quicker than most, I would think. Good news."

Travis appeared in 62 games for the Blue Jays last season and posted a .304 average with eight home runs and 35 RBIs. He won Rookie of the Month honors in April but injured the shoulder late that month and wasn't able to properly recover until the offseason procedure.

Cecil rejoins Blue Jays
As expected, left-hander Brett Cecil was activated from the paternity list prior to Friday night's game against the Rangers. Cecil missed the recent three-game series in San Francisco to attend the birth of his daughter, Braelynn. Cecil took the spot of right-hander Ryan Tepera, who was optioned to Buffalo following Wednesday's loss to the Giants.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. 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.