CLEVELAND -- A group of reporters who were looking to speak with Devon Travis did not have to wait very long for a diagnosis on the state of his injured right knee. The look on his face, and the sound of his voice, said it all.
Travis left the Blue Jays' 2-0 loss to the Indians in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series in the bottom of the fifth inning on Friday night after he aggravated his right knee. Toronto has yet to reveal an official diagnosis, and Travis is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday morning, but the 25-year-old left the impression that he won't be back any time soon. Game 2 of the ALCS is Saturday (4 p.m. ET on TBS in the U.S., as well as Sportsnet and RDS in Canada).
It does not appear that the Blue Jays will be able to replace Travis on the roster, because his initial injury took place prior to the start of this series. The official rule regarding Travis' situation is as follows:
"(4) Replacements for Injured Players During a Series. A Club may request permission from the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee to replace on the Club's active roster for the remainder of a post-season series a player who is unable to render service in such post-season series because of a specific injury or ailment that occurred after the Club's roster for such series had been submitted, provided that the Club submits written proof of the disability to the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee. The Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee may approve or disapprove a request for a roster substitution and may make whatever investigation the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee deems appropriate in exercising such discretion. The Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee's exercise of discretion may include disapproval of the request for a roster substitution if the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee determines that the request was not made in a reasonable amount of time in advance of a game to allow for investigation of the facts and circumstances."
That is part of the reason Toronto elected to carry Ryan Goins, who replaced Travis at second base on Friday, for the ALCS.
The harsh reality of Travis' situation seemed to hit the second-year infielder hard. His energetic personality was gone. The positive tone in Travis' voice had all but completely disappeared. This was a player who so badly wanted to be out there for his team and simply could not stay on the field because his body let him down once again.
"It's tough," said Travis, who missed last year's postseason because of a left shoulder injury. "Sometimes you want to go back and ask why. I try not to do that. It's unfortunate, man. I don't know what exactly is going on with me right now to cause all this. I know at the end of the day I have a clubhouse that has my back, and I'll be out there every day that I can."
Travis still can't pinpoint exactly when his original knee injury took place, but it caused soreness at various points in September and reached a breaking point during the AL Division Series vs. Texas. He missed the final two games of that series after an MRI revealed a bone bruise, but optimism returned when the Blue Jays had four days off before the ALCS.
The hope was that the time off would be enough to get Travis back on the field. Initially it seemed to work, after Travis went through a series of on-field drills on Thursday afternoon. He got the start in Game 1, but there were some early warning signs that something was not quite right. Travis was unable to get to a couple of ground balls early in the game, and he then felt a sharp pain while covering first base on a bunt attempt in the fifth.
Even then, Travis still wanted to remain in the game. He tried to stay on the field for one more play, but when he made a quick step, the pain resurfaced and Travis knew he was done. He started hopping on one leg and immediately called for the medical staff.
"It hurts pretty bad," Travis said. "I felt good going into the game. I covered first on that, jarred my knee a little bit. Next play, I broke for the ball, I went to go run to first and felt a super sharp pain in my knee. It kind of felt like it was going to give out a little bit, and that was it."
Goins and Darwin Barney will platoon at second base for as long as Travis is out.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com 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.