Joyce could return as early as Tuesday
OF Matt Joyce is expected to be back at Tropicana Field Tuesday, and could be activated from the disabled list, giving the Rays offense a much-needed boost.
Joyce, out since mid-June with oblique and back strains, went 1-for-5 while playing designated hitter in his second rehab game for Class-A Charlotte Monday.
Joyce tweeted Monday night he was driving back from Daytona Beach and will “see (you) guys on the field (Tuesday).”
“I’m baaaaaaack!!” Joyce tweeted.
The Rays wouldn’t confirm Joyce’s activation, only that he will be re-evaluated Tuesday by the team’s athletic training staff. They could also wait another day if need be.
“He’s very close” manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon said Joyce’s return will make for an “interesting” decision on who goes to make room. They could part with DH/OF Hideki Matsui, who is hitting .165, or option INFs Brooks Conrad or Rhymes to the minors.
Joyce was hitting .279 in 62 games for the Rays this season, including 11 homers and 34 RBI.
-- JOE SMITH