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Matt Joyce "thrilled to death" to rejoin Rays



Outfielder Matt Joyce's "long road" has finally brought him back to Tampa Bay with the Rays.


Joyce was recalled from Triple-A Durham Thursday, helping give the Rays outfield depth and offensive punch at DH with LF Carl Crawford day-to-day with soreness in his throwing shoulder. Needless to say, for Joyce - who had a good shot to make the Opening Day roster before an elbow strain sidelined him - was excited to hear the news today.

"Obviously, I'm thrilled to death," Joyce said from Indianapolis, where he was packing for a Thursday night flight to Tampa. "It's been a long road, a long year so far. At this point, I'm ready to come help the team win. I'm excited, man."

Joyce said he was at the ballpark in Indianapolis for the Bulls game when manager Charlie Montoyo gave him the great news, telling him to "Get out of here."

Maddon said Joyce gives them options in the outfield, and as a DH against right-handed pitchers. Joyce was hitting .293 with three homers, 12 RBI and 22 BB (21 Ks) in 25 games for the Bulls, and said his arm is no longer a concern. Maddon pointed out how Joyce "earned" his way back and deserves a shot.

"I think, in many ways, it was a mental grind to stay focused and ready," Joyce said. "You had to earn your way back. So it's definitely satisfying."

[Last modified: Saturday, July 24, 2010 12:15am]


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