Pujols encouraged scuffling Travis before Blue Jays-Angels series
When the Toronto Blue Jays arrived in Anaheim, Calif., to play a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, second baseman Devon Travis was hitting just .104 and had yet to send a ball out of the park. One talk from a future Hall of Famer may have changed everything.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols approached Travis before batting practice Friday and reminded the 26-year-old - who still only has 179 big-league games under his belt - that things will get better.
"It's only April. Don't worry about the numbers. You're a good player, don't get down, don't put pressure on yourself. I know what you can do," Pujols told Travis, according to Arash Madani of Sportsnet.
"It was so cool for me," Travis said. "A first-ballot Hall of Famer you respect so much, telling you to keep it going ... It meant everything to me."
Travis hit his first home run Sunday during a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Afterward, Madani reports Pujols called Travis over and said, "See, I told you. Keep swinging, keep believing."
"Pujols told me, 'Look, we are peers,'" Travis said. "'We may be in a different uniform, but there's so much more to all of this than the game.'"
After hitting .300/.332/.454 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs during 101 games last season, Travis has struggled to a .127/.179/.190 slash line for a Blue Jays club that owns MLB's worst record at 5-14.