Maddon: OF Matt Joyce "pounding on the door pretty loudly"
It is certainly not lost on the Rays how well OF Matt Joyce has been doing in Triple-A Durham.
Joyce, recovering from an elbow strain that has sidelined him in spring training, is hitting .343 with the Bulls, having reached base in his last 10 at bats. He's hitting .438 against lefties. More importantly, he says his elbow is no longer a concern.
"I'm 100 percent convinced that I'm ready," Joyce said today from Durham, where the Bulls had an off day. "I'm just waiting for the call."
Manager Joe Maddon said Joyce is coming along well, and acknowledged he is leaving an impression.
“He’s pounding on the door pretty loudly right now,” Maddon said. “So we’re paying attention.”
The tough part is that there hasn't been a whole lot of space for Joyce on the roster. Ben Zobrist is playing mostly rightfield, especially with Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac playing so well in the middle infield. The Rays already have Hank Blalock and Willy Aybar, who can bat left-handed at DH. Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton don't get too many days off in the outfield.
Joyce, who had a good shot at making the Opening Day roster before the elbow injury sidelined him, is taking the situation in stride. He said “as long as the team is winning, I’m sure they’ll stick with the winning team." And he pointed out that with many people in the country out of a job, he considers himself lucky he can do something he loves every day.
“Any situation where you hurt your chances to start and play in the big leagues everyday…you kick yourself and you beat yourself up,” Joyce said . “Some things you can’t control and it’s been frustrating. But I can either look at it like, ‘Oh, I should be there or I missed my opportunity’ and I can be upset or depressed. But I don’t think that would be the best route to take.”