Last week the Detroit Tigers decided to shift 23-year-old prospect Devon Travis from second base to center field. The team felt a position change would allow Travis to reach the majors that much faster while filling a glaring outfield need.
Travis had already started the process of learning the new position at Double-A Erie. Unfortunately, Travis' season is over. The organization's 2013 Minor League Player of the Year has been shelved for the immediate future due to what has become a familiar procedure to the Tigers and their fans thanks to Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera - core muscle surgery.
Head trainer Kevin Rand announced today Travis would undergo core muscle surgery on his left side next week. No timetable for recovery was released, but it's expected Travis will be recovered in time to take part in spring training.
Travis was originally going work further on his infield-to-outfield transition in the Arizona Fall League, but that plan has now been put on hold.
Travis was drafted by the Tigers in the 13th round of the 2012 draft out of Florida State. After a breakout season in 2013 split between the Tigers' Single-A affiliates in West Michigan and Lakeland, Travis was ranked as the number 84 overall prospect in the game by Baseball America.
Travis continued to impress with the bat while spending this year at Erie. Travis hit .298/.358/.460 with ten home runs and 52 RBI in 396 at-bats over 100 games, three of those as a center fielder.