OAKLAND -- The disappointment and agony was evident from the moment he stepped out of the clubhouse. Devon Travis, draped in a hoodie with his head hung low, tried to maintain his composure in the face of more adversity. He had been here before, but this time it was too
OAKLAND -- The disappointment and agony was evident from the moment he stepped out of the clubhouse. Devon Travis, draped in a hoodie with his head hung low, tried to maintain his composure in the face of more adversity. He had been here before, but this time it was too much to take.
Less than two hours prior, Travis had been informed that an MRI revealed a bone bruise and cartilage damage in his right knee and he was going back to the disabled list. It's a similar injury to the one that cost him the 2016 postseason and that was bad enough, but this one might have been even worse.
Travis fought off tears while answering the first couple of questions from the media in attendance at the Coliseum in Oakland. He said all the right things about keeping a positive mindset, not feeling sorry for himself, working hard to get back on the field. But when Travis was asked about all the difficulties he's already had to overcome, the emotions took over.
"That's what hurts the most," Travis said while his eyes welled up with tears. "You just think about everything you did in the offseason and obviously coming off an injury last year and the year before as well, it's tough.
"That's probably my emotions are running out of me a little bit right now, all those hard days of work, two-a-days and getting to Florida the third day of January, doing all I could to get back on the field because I wanted to be there for the team."
Travis is just 26 years old and has less than three years' service time, but he's already dealt with a career worth of injuries. In '15, his rookie season came to an end in July because of a chronic shoulder condition that required surgery. The same shoulder issue cost him the first two months of '16, and his run in the American League Championship Series later that year lasted just one game because of the troublesome right knee.
Travis didn't start appearing in games until late in Spring Training, but he rounded into form just in time to crack the big league roster for Opening Day. The lack of reps in the spring led to a slow start in April but that had long since been forgotten after an incredible run in May.
On a team that had been decimated by injuries, Travis has been one of the main reasons Toronto did not get buried in the standings. He set a record for the most May doubles in franchise history with 16 to go along with a .364/.373/.646 slash line. Everything seemed to be perfect, Travis could not have been in a better place, but all of that changed when his team touched down in Oakland late Sunday night.
"Sleeping, knee locked up, hurt to bend it, was hoping it was the pressure, being high up in the air," said Travis, who added he didn't know how or when he hurt the knee. "I was scared, I didn't really know what to say or when to say something. I just went to bed that night hoping that I would wake up in the morning [with] it loosened up. It didn't."
Travis won't know the extent of his injury until he meets with a specialist in New York later this week. Last fall, the pain was on the outside of his knee and this time it's the inside. Toronto doesn't have a definitive time frame for his return.
"To kind of end up in a little bit of the same spot again, it just doesn't make much sense to me," Travis said. "Like I said, I don't have time to feel bad for myself, though. This is my career, this is what I love to do and this is what I signed up for. I know all this comes along with it and I'll get through it."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.