Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays rightfielder Matt Joyce suffers setback during rehab

Matt Joyce, homering on May 18, won’t be back until after the All-Star break after feeling pain in his back Wednesday while with Triple-A Durham.


Matt Joyce, homering on May 18, won’t be back until after the All-Star break after feeling pain in his back Wednesday while with Triple-A Durham.

CLEVELAND — The Rays were looking forward to having OF Matt Joyce back in their lineup this weekend. But after he was forced to shut down his rehab due to back issues, they are now back to hoping he can return shortly after next week's All-Star break.

Joyce left a Triple-A Durham game on Wednesday after experiencing what he termed, via text message, "tightness and a little discomfort" in his left lower back.

Both Joyce and manager Joe Maddon said it was different than the left oblique strain that originally landed him on the 15-day disabled list, though Joyce acknowledged, "That's what I thought last time, so we'll see."

Joyce was headed back to St. Petersburg on Thursday night to be evaluated. Maddon said the word he got from the team medical staff, based on what it heard from Durham, was the stiffness was the result of Joyce sliding into second (on a failed steal attempt) and it was "nothing horrible."

"He's definitely not going to participate before the All-Star break," Maddon said. "So it's a setback in a sense but … it doesn't sound like it's awful."

Maddon said it is possible Joyce would be ready when the Rays resume play July 13 at home against Boston.

Joyce, who last played June 19, said: "At least we have the All-Star break to soak up some time."

MORE MEDICAL: INF Jeff Keppinger, who left Wednesday's game with a bruised left triceps after being hit by a pitch, said his arm was still swollen, but he felt better as the night went on and went into the game to play third in the eighth, and could have hit. … OF/DH Hideki Matsui, who left Saturday's game with left hamstring tightness, lined out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, though he would have been run for had he reached base.

FAMILIAR FACES: After spending last season with the Rays, OF/DH Johnny Damon and 1B Casey Kotchman ended up signing with the Indians.

Damon wanted to stay and was frustrated when the Rays instead signed Scott in an effort to boost their offense, saying Thursday "there wasn't going to be" a noticeable increase. Damon, 37, remained unsigned until mid April and said he almost retired rather than go elsewhere because the experience with the Rays was so "awesome." He added he isn't sure if he'll keep playing if he has to keep changing teams.

"You go through the year, and you build relationships. And then all of a sudden, the positive stuff that you do just gets kind of pushed aside," he said. "They made their decision, and unfortunately, we didn't have an opportunity to come back. So there's no hard feelings here. I just have to keep going out and play baseball."

Neither Damon nor Scott is doing much. Damon is hitting .212 with four homers, 17 RBIs and a .618 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 48 games. Scott, in 58 games, is at .194-9-36-.626.

"They wanted more power," Damon said. "So far, they've got it."

MISCELLANY: It was the first time in franchise history the Rays lost when allowing three runs on solo homers; they had been 7-0. … The Rays dropped to 4-13 against AL Central teams. … With the bench limited, reliever Burke Badenhop was in cleats for potential use as a pinch-runner; C Jose Lobaton was also a possibility. … The "play ball" kid before the game was TV analyst Brian Anderson's 7-year-old daughter, Rylyn Mae. Her mother won the opportunity at a Cleveland-area charity auction, and it just happened to be when the Rays were in town. … There is no TV coverage of Saturday's game.

A very long slump

The Rays' Luke Scott went 0-for-3 Thursday and now is hitless over his past 39 at-bats. Nonpitchers who have gone 40 or more at-bats without a hit since 1900:

Eugenio Velez462010-11
Bill Bergen451909
Craig Counsell452011
Dave Campbell451973
Luis Aparicio441971
Tony Bernazard441984
Robin Ventura411990
Jose Canseco401986

Source: Elias

Tampa Bay Rays rightfielder Matt Joyce suffers setback during rehab 07/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays Kevin Cash: "We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence"


    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to turn it around,'' Cash said. "You can only delay it for so long and …

  2. Rays, Bucs and Lightning join Dungy in donating to move Confederate monument


    The Tampa Bay area's three major league sports teams have pledged their financial support in moving a Confederate monument out of downtown Tampa.

    Tony Dungy in 2011. [Getty]
  3. Tim Tebow came into their life, and never left


    There are a lot of stories about Tim Tebow connecting with people during his life, Tebow inspiring them and Tebow being inspired.

    Boomer Hornbeck of Naples, Fla., has battled cerebral palsy and undergone surgery after surgery in the hopes of allowing him to one day walk. Inspired by Tim Tebow, and encouraged by his relationship with him, Hornbeck has become a motivational speaker.
  4. For starters: Rays at Jays, with Longoria moved to No. 2 spot in order


    UPDATE, 3:10: Cash said the change was made primarily for two reasons, to change the look for several of the hitters and to get back to alternating lefty and righty hitters to make it tougher for opposing managers to match up relievers. Cash said he plans to stick with this structure for a while but doesn't …

    Evan Longoria was moved from his usual No. 3 spot in the batting order up to second.
  5. The legacy of Tim Tebow's baseball summer


    CLEARWATER — It was about three weeks ago. A Saturday night. I sat behind home plate at a Charlotte Stone Crabs game at Charlotte Sports Park. There was a professional baseball scout sitting just behind me with a speed gun in his hand. He had seen the whole thing.

    Seth Bosch, left, of Punta Gorda, Fla., met Tim Tebow in Port Charlotte, Fla., in late July when Tebow, while in the on-deck circle during a game, shook hands with Seth through the backstop screen. The moment was captured on video by Seth's mother, as was the home run Tebow promptly hit in his ensuing at bat. Seth, who has high-functioning autism and other health issues, celebrated wildly and the video went viral. PHOTO PROVIDED