If you were able to stick it out for seven weeks with Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis, you’re about to get a nice early-summer bonus.
Travis batted .357/.375/.500 with five RBI in four rehab games (16 plate appearances) with High-A Dunedin and was cleared Wednesday to move his rehab assignment to Triple-A Buffalo. One step away from the major league level.
The dynamic 25-year-old hasn’t appeared in a game for Toronto since last July 28, when his left shoulder started barking for the second time. Travis never made it through that second rehab and would need surgery in the offseason, but his recovery now stands at a full six months and by all indications his swing is fully back to form. If everything goes according to plan at Buffalo, he should be added back to the Blue Jays’ active roster sometime this weekend. A four-game road series in Minnesota kicks off Thursday night.
Travis hit .304/.361/.498 with eight home runs and three stolen bases in 62 games last season for the Blue Jays, who would eventually advance to the 2015 American League Championship Series. He drew 22 starts at leadoff out of those 62 games and the Jays have received a weak .254/.317/.396 combined batting line from their leadoff men this season (not counting Wednesday’s results) so there should be an openness to trying him at the top of the lineup. It might not happen right out of the gate -- Michael Saunders has become a decent option there -- but Travis has the goods to force the issue.
As a middle infielder with a good bat and good speed at the top of a very good lineup, Travis can carry huge fantasy potential.
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Tolleson Out, Dyson In As Texas Closer
It’s exactly seven days from that recommendation and he’s not a setup man anymore.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister announced Wednesday afternoon that Shawn Tolleson would be demoted from the team’s closer role after the 28-year-old blew his fourth save of the season Tuesday night on a walkoff grand slam by A’s outfielder Khris Davis. Dyson will be taking over that closer job, and he looks like a guy who could run away with the opportunity.
The hard-throwing right-hander holds a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings this year out of the Texas bullpen, and he has even managed to vulture two saves already amid Tolleson’s early-season struggles. Dyson posted a 2.63 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 75 1/3 innings in 2015 and he boasts a 2.38 ERA in 136 1/3 innings since the beginning of 2014.
Texas just got swept by Oakland, but a 22-19 record isn’t bad at this point in the season and Yu Darvish is due back next week. This is a good team, and Dyson can be a terrific fantasy closer.
No … Sleep … Till Darvish
Yu Darvish is on track to return from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery next week.
The rehabbing right-hander will make one minor league appearance Sunday at Double-A Frisco and should be activated from the disabled list five days later, with his first major league start since August 9, 2014 likely coming next weekend in a road interleague series against the Pirates. That means we’ll get to see Darvish bat, too, something he’s done only 11 times since leaving Japan.
Darvish, now 14 months removed from Tommy John surgery, owns a promising 1.29 ERA, 0.786 WHIP, and 15/5 K/BB ratio through 14 rehab innings (four rehab starts) between Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. He’s sitting on a brilliant 3.27 ERA and 680 strikeouts in 545 1/3 career major league frames.
National League Quick Hits: USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Matt Kemp is "being made available" by the Padres … Steven Matz (elbow) is expected to return to the Mets’ rotation Friday versus the Brewers … Julio Teheran breezed through 7 2/3 scoreless innings on Wednesday against the Pirates … Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud has begun strengthening exercises for his strained right rotator cuff … Johnny Cueto gave up just one run over nine innings in a complete-game victory Wednesday versus the Padres … Adam Wainwright enjoyed his best start of the season on Wednesday, firing 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Rockies … Odubel Herrera was held out of the Phillies’ starting lineup Wednesday because of a sore back … Mets manager Terry Collins hinted Lucas Duda (back) could return to the lineup Thursday … Jhonny Peralta (thumb) took batting practice for the first time on Wednesday … Ryan Braun was held out of the Brewers’ starting lineup on Wednesday due to nagging lower back discomfort … Jeanmar Gomez nailed down his MLB-leading 16th save of the season Wednesday in the Phillies' defeat of the Marlins … Adrian Gonzalez remained out of the Dodgers’ lineup Wednesday due to back stiffness … Braves demoted starting pitching prospect Aaron Blair back to Triple-A Gwinnett … Jay Bruce went 3-for-4 with two home runs and a walk in Wednesday's extra-inning loss to the Indians … Jose Reyes (suspension) will report to the Rockies' spring training facility in Arizona on Thursday to begin ramping up baseball activities … Gio Gonzalez delivered 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball Wednesday in the Nationals' defeat of the Mets … Reds recalled reliever Jumbo Diaz from Triple-A Louisville.
American League Quick Hits: Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged Wednesday that Carson Smith (elbow) is recovering "slower than expected" after relief appearances and could be headed back to the disabled list … Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler homered in his fourth consecutive game Wednesday in a win over the Twins … A’s left-hander Rich Hill pitched well in Wednesday's win over the Rangers, allowing just one run on three hits over six innings … Victor Martinez was a late scratch from the Tigers’ lineup Wednesday due to a head cold … Mark Trumbo clubbed his 12th home run of the season in Wednesday’s win over the Mariners … Matt Moore's next start will be Monday in Miami … A’s second baseman Jed Lowrie (shin) is aiming to come off the disabled list when first eligible May 25 … Rays first baseman Logan Morrison went 3-for-4 with his first home run of the season in Wednesday's win over the Blue Jays … Mike Moustakas (thumb) went 2-for-4 in his rehab debut Wednesday with Double-A Northwest Arkansas … Tigers right-hander Shane Greene (blister) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Low-A West Michigan … Kris Medlen (shoulder) plans to begin throwing Friday … An MRI taken Tuesday on the right shoulder of Henderson Alvarez came back inconclusive … Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman earned his fourth save Wednesday versus the Diamondbacks … Huston Street (oblique) threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Wednesday … Indians manager Terry Francona stated Wednesday that Michael Brantley (shoulder) does not currently have a timetable for his return … Mike Trout finished 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored in Wednesday’s rout of the Dodgers … Twins optioned struggling outfielder Eddie Rosario to Triple-A Rochester … Rays fill-in closer Alex Colome picked up his 10th save and struck out three in 1 1/3 flawless innings during Wednesday's defeat of the Blue Jays … Astros outfielder Tony Kemp went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in his major league debut Wednesday against the White Sox … Rajai Davis had a pair of homers in the Indians’ victory over the Reds on Wednesday.