Toronto Blue Jays option struggling Devon Travis for bullpen help

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Devon Travis
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Devon Travis /

The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned struggling second-baseman Devon Travis to triple-A Buffalo and called up reliever Carlos Ramirez

It’s been a tough week for the Toronto Blue Jays, who have started to slip after having their best start to a season since 2009. On the cusp of being swept for the first time this season, the Jays made a surprising move on Sunday morning.

The teamed optioned second-baseman Devon Travis to triple-A Buffalo and called up reliever Carlos Ramirez.

Travis has been getting every third day off to start the season, in an attempt to keep him healthy. Unfortunately, as a result, he has struggled to generate consistency at the plate to start the year.

The second baseman has a .148/.212/.246 slash line on the year, with just nine hits and 18 strikeouts to his name. Travis has also had more trouble getting the ball off the ground when he does make contact. His 63 percent groundball rate is the third-highest among AL players.

Travis needed to have a good start to the year, after only appearing in 50 games last season due to knee problems.

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With the strong play of recent call-up Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and the Jays’ need for bullpen arms, Travis was the odd man out.

During his media availability on Sunday, Jays Manager John Gibbons said his bullpen has been “Running on fumes” for the last stretch of games.

While Ramirez was dealing with an elbow issue during Spring Training, he says he is fully healthy now.

The 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic made his major league debut with the Jays last season as a September call-up.

In 16.2 innings pitched last year, Ramirez had a 2.70 ERA and a 0.54 WHIP, while allowing three home runs and five earned runs over that span. He also struck out 14 batters and walked only three.

With the demotion, Travis will have an opportunity to play more often with the Bisons. While the Jays were protecting their investment by resting Travis, he wasn’t exactly thrilled with sitting so often.

In triple-A, Travis will have a chance to regain his confidence and get his game back to where it should be.

Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins spoke to Sportsnet‘s Jamie Campbell ahead of the Jays’ game against the Texas Rangers on Sunday. He made it clear Travis will see time in the future with the Jays. This is just a stint to get him back into form.

At the time the Jays acquired Travis, he was one of the best infield prospects in baseball. Now, at 27-years-old, he has to start becoming a more consistent player in the majors. Staying on the field will go a long way towards accomplishing this.

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Staying on the field will go a long way towards accomplishing this consistency. The Jays are hoping a demotion is just the thing which gives Travis a chance to become the player they know he is.