Joyce back, Rhymes sent down
The Rays activated OF Matt Joyce from the DL Tuesday and optioned INF Will Rhymes to Triple-A Durham.
Joyce, out since mid-June with oblique and back strains, provides a major boost to the Rays lineup, with 11 homers and 34 RBI. He had played just two rehab games with Class-A Charlotte, including going 1-for-5 as DH Monday night, before driving back to St. Pete.
Optioning Rhymes makes sense in that with Joyce going back to rightfield, Ben Zobrist can play primarily second base. The Rays could have also optioned INF Brooks Conrad, or cut ties with DH/OF Hideki Matsui.
While Matsui still stays with the team, despite hitting .165, that could change as soon as OF Sam Fuld (right wrist surgery) is ready to come back. Fuld has played six rehab games combined with Class-A Charlotte and Triple-A Durham, and manager Joe Maddon indicated last night that he's getting closer.
-- JOE SMITH