CLEVELAND -- Devon Travis survived a major scare during Friday night's 8-4 victory over the Indians and has been cleared to resume playing.Travis was struck on the right hand by an 89-mph fastball from Cleveland right-hander Matt Belisle. He was later removed from the game and sent for X-rays, which
CLEVELAND -- Devon Travis survived a major scare during Friday night's 8-4 victory over the Indians and has been cleared to resume playing.
Travis was struck on the right hand by an 89-mph fastball from Cleveland right-hander Matt Belisle. He was later removed from the game and sent for X-rays, which came back negative. The 27-year-old was back in Toronto's starting lineup on Saturday afternoon and will not require any additional time off. The Blue Jays have Travis on a two-days-on, one-day-off schedule following last year's knee surgery.
"He was throwing the ball around -- there's a net behind the dugout -- after it happened, and he was fine," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We just said, get him out of there, to make sure. Hockey mentality."
Travis entered play on Saturday with just three hits in 38 at-bats this season. It's a similar slow start to the one he experienced last year, when he had a .130 average through April but then exploded with a Major League-leading 16 doubles in May with a .364 average and 1.019 OPS.
Gibbons expects a similar turnaround this year, and he admitted that, for whatever reason, there are some players who typically start off a little bit slower than everyone else. Edwin Encarnacion was the same way during his time with the Blue Jays.
"The longer they play, you can almost bank on it," Gibbons said, when asked about slow starts and the comparison to Encarnacion. "Why, I don't know. He had a similar start last year, but when you think about it, when he went down last year, that's a lot of missed time between then and now, where he wasn't active. Spring Training, it's tough to read Spring Training. I'd bet my life on it that he's going to hit."
Blue Jays sticking with Grichuk
Gibbons gave right fielder Randal Grichuk a vote of confidence on Saturday afternoon and said the Blue Jays intend to keep playing him, despite his early season struggles. Grichuk entered play on Saturday with just three hits in 42 at-bats and that has created speculation that he could lose playing time to Teoscar Hernandez, but Gibbons insisted the Blue Jays still intend on using him on a regular basis.
"We believe in him," Gibbons said. "I think he's close. He's not getting the results, but I think he's close and we'll let him run. I think one solid game might set him off in the right direction."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.