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Blue Jays rookie Devon Travis's time on disabled list as much mental as physical

05/22/2015 05:55 EDT | Updated 05/22/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Devon Travis's stint on the disabled list will be as much about his head as his shoulder.

Travis was placed on the Toronto Blue Jays' 15-day DL late Thursday night, retroactive to May 17, to recover from left shoulder inflammation.

The 24-year-old rookie second baseman was reluctant to take time off to address the nagging pain in his shoulder, but was persuaded to rest by Blue Jays training staff after receiving a Cortisone injection.

"Last couple of days have been pretty dark for me," said Travis in front of his clubhouse locker on Friday. "Something that we were trying to avoid at all costs. They told me last night and, y'know, it made sense.

"I've always been a guy that likes to play through things and sometimes when it becomes more of an injury rather than just a nick it's something you've got to take care of."

Travis, who had never played above double-A before this season, started the year at a torrid pace.

He hit .325 in April with six home runs and 19 runs batted in, earning American League rookie of the month honours. The inflammation began when a sharp groundball took a bad bounce and hit his collarbone in the Blue Jays' 5-1 win in Cleveland on April 30.

Travis has struggled in May, with a .189 batting average, one homer and seven RBIs.

The right-handed hitter, who hasn't played since Toronto's 6-5 loss in Houston on May 16, said Friday that the inflammation in his lead shoulder was cutting off his already compact swing.

"Honestly, even more so than the pain, but I think mentally," said Travis of how the injury effected his hitting. "I was starting to draw a block where you're starting to do things the body works in crazy ways and it does things to avoid the pain."

Toronto recalled infielder Munenori Kawasaki from triple-A Buffalo to help handle second base while Travis rests.

The 33-year-old Kawasaki batted .222 in 23 games this season with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, with no home runs and two RBIs. He has one career home run, 48 RBIs and a .244 batting average in 162 games with Toronto since 2013.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said that Kawasaki would be half of a platoon at second with Steve Tolleson, at least until all-star shortstop Jose Reyes returns from the disabled list on Monday.

"Travis is getting better but it's almost a week now, let's bring another body up here anyway, until Reyes gets back," said Gibbons on his reasoning for the roster moves.

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