The eighth-year MLB veteran hit .174/.272/.291 in 284 plate appearances for Anaheim before venturing to the Dominican Winter League in 2015. His hard work paid off, and Matt Joyce rebuilt his reputation with Pittsburgh in 2016. He parlayed that success into a two-year, $11 million deal with the A's. Joyce figures to occupy the strong side of a right field platoon in Oakland. He boasts a career .252/.353/.449 slash line against righties, and last year he improved upon that career line, thanks largely to a 20.3 percent walk rate and 12 homers in just 197 at-bats against righties. His 21 pinch walks established a new major league record. If he can maintain that kind of patience, he could work his way into a spot near the top of Oakland's lineup. The fact that he won't be an everyday player and lacks standout tools makes him less appealing in standard leagues, but in deeper leagues and AL-only formats he makes for a relatively cheap, high floor option thanks to his established excellence against righties.
Joyce is not in the lineup Thursday against the Mariners, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. With the Mariners sending out southpaw James Paxton, Joyce will head to the bench in favor of Jaff Decker. He should continue to take a seat against most lefties.
Joyce is leading off for the A's on Saturday. Marcus Semien is receiving a day off, so Joyce will move up from his regular No. 2 spot in the order. The right fielder isn't off to the greatest of starts this season, hitting just .214 with four RBI through nine games, but Oakland doesn't have many options to turn to at the plate.
Joyce is not in the lineup Thursday against the Royals, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Joyce is expected to sit out against most lefties this season, so he'll head to the bench with southpaw Jason Vargas taking the mound for Kansas City. Mark Canha will replace him in right field and bat seventh.
Joyce is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Rangers. The Athletics figure to shield Joyce from opposing left-handers throughout the season, so he'll get a day off in the series finale with southpaw Martin Perez toeing the rubber for the Rangers. The right-handed Mark Canha replaces Joyce in right field, batting seventh in the order.
Joyce went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in Friday's 10-5 loss to the Rangers. After the Rangers steamrolled Raul Alcantara for eight runs over the first two innings, Joyce offered a ray of hope with a 414-foot shot to right field in the third off A.J. Griffin. It was a breakthrough effort for Joyce, who'd opened the season by going 1-for-9 over his first three games. The veteran platoon player will look to continue providing similar production against right-handed pitching throughout the season.
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