Tag:Matt Joyce
Posted on: December 26, 2010 2:57 pm

Joyce penciled into left field, Jennings in farm

JoyceAlthough the Rays have a top left field prospect that could replace Carl Crawford, the club will likely go with Matt Joyce in left to open the year as Mark Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports.

Joyce, acquired in a deal for Edwin Jackson from the Tigers two seasons ago, cranked 10 home runs in just 261 plate appearances for the Rays with a .241/.360/.477 line.  Joyce has good power potential and could help replace the void in the middle of the lineup left by Crawford and Carlos Pena.

While Joyce can play right field, the team is envisioning Ben Zobrist manning that position and making Jennings work for a spot on the big-league roster. It's possible (if not outright likely) the club will keep Jennings down until the early summer, ensuring he won't qualify for arbitration as a Super Two player.

Given the team has yet to find a solution at first base, it remains possible that Jennings could open the year with the club in left, Joyce in right and Zobrist manning first with Dan Johnson coming off the bench. Tampa also needs to find a DH and continue rebuilding their bullpen.

Most teams are done shopping and are now turning their attention to arbitration-eligible players, but the Rays still have plenty of work ahead of them.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 8, 2010 8:22 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 11:11 pm

Wakefield earns $500,000 with outing

Tim Wakefield Matt Joyce's fourth-inning fly-out to left put a half-million dollars straight into Tim Wakefield's pocket.

With the out, Wakefield finished his 130th inning of the season, bumping his 2011 base salary from $1.5 million to $2 million. He can get another $1.5 million if he somehow gets 30 more innings this season.

He already earned a $75,000 bonus for making the start, his 18th of the season. He'll make $75,000 for each start he makes the rest of this season (he gets $100,000 per start for games 26-30, but it's unlikely even Wakefield would get eight more starts this season.)

The Rays scored four off of Wakefield before he reached his fourth out of the game, but he's since settled down and made himself a richer man.

UPDATE: Wakefield went five innings, allowed six hits and five runs (four earned), earning his fourth win of the season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 7, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:05 pm

Rays test their bench

Joe Maddon How about this for a record you didn't know existed?

Monday night the Rays tied a major-league record by using six pinch hitters in one inning. It was the ninth time that's happened -- and the seventh in September, when rosters expand.

Joe Maddon did it in the seventh inning of Monday's game in Boston because his team was being blown out and wanted to give his regulars some rest and get his bench players some at-bats.

"They all looked good up there. We like our depth, we like our bench," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin . "I want to keep them sharp, I've got to get them out there. Hopefully as we proceed and hopefully make the playoffs we're going to have to make a lot of tough decisions regarding who those 25 people are going to be, so these guys have got to play. If they're going to contribute the rest of this month they just can't sit on the bench."

How'd it work? Well enough for six pinch hitters to get to bat -- as well as three starters -- who accounted for two of the three outs. None of the starters got a hit, with Carlos Pena walking. The pinch hitters went 3 for 4 with two walks, scoring all three runs in the inning.

Here's how it went down:

The Red Sox started the inning with Robert Coello replacing starter Jon Lester.

Dan Johnson, batting for Ben Zobrist, singled to center.

Kelly Shoppach flied out to center.

Matt Joyce, batting for B.J. Upton, singled to right.

Willy Aybar, batting for Jason Bartlett, singled to center, loading the bases.

Brad Hawpe, batting for Carl Crawford, walked, scoring a run.

Desmond Jennings, batting for Evan Longoria, walked, scoring a run.

The Red Sox pulled Coello and put in Dustin Richardson.

Carlos Pena walked, scoring a run.

Out goes Richardson, in comes Scott Atchison.

Reid Brignac, batting for Sean Rodrgiuez, pops out to first.

Rico Baldelli flied out to end the inning.

The last team to use six pinch hitters in an inning was the Mariners in 2007 and the last two do it in a non-September game was the Expos in May of 1970.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 26, 2010 9:14 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 10:32 pm

Rays' slam breaks up no-hitter

You could almost hear the computer servers firing up at Elias Sports Bureau a few minutes ago, trying to figure out whether a no-hitter was broken up by a grand slam for the first time.

In Tampa, the Rays' Matt Garza and the Tigers' Max Scherzer took dueling no-hitters into the sixth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Ben Zobrist walked, Carl Crawford reached on catcher's interference and Evan Longoria walked to load the bases. With two outs and a full count, Jays designated hitter Matt Joyce homered to right field, breaking up the no-hit bid and putting the Rays up 4-0.

Garza allowed just a walk through seven. Follow the game on the CBSSports.com GameTracker here, and we'll let you know when we figure out whether this has ever happened before.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Garza finishes off the no-hitter, allowing just the one walk. It's the first no-hitter in Rays history and the fifth in the majors this season.

UPDATE: Baseball blog wezen-ball.com (reporting via Twitter ) has found another no-hitter broken up in the sixth by a grand slam. On July 23, 1990, Dickie Thon of the Phillies broke up a no-hit bid by Frank Viola of the Mets with a grand slam with one out. Viola did not have a shutout at the time, however, as the Phillies had scored on a groundout two batters earlier. Here is the box score and play-by-play of that game.

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Posted on: June 24, 2010 4:31 pm

Rays option Navarro, recall Joyce

Matt Joyce The Rays have optioned catcher Dioner Navarro to Triple-A and recalled outfielder Matt Joyce.

Navarro had a poor .210/.291/.286 line on the year in 121 plate appearances, continuing a 2009 trend of futility after a 2008 breakout in which he posted a .757 OPS. The 26-year-old will head to Triple-A and attempt to get his head screwed on straight while John Jaso and Kelly Shoppach split catching duties in the bigs.

Joyce finally receives a long-awaited recall to the show. The 25-year-old impressed in 242 at-bats for the Detroit Tigers in 2008 before being shipped to Tampa for Edwin Jackson. He only saw 11 games of big-league action in 2009, and began 2010 on the disabled list with a right elbow strain. Once healed, he was sent to Triple-A where he crushed the ball. Joyce posted a .293/.435/.478 line and still profiles as the Rays' right fielder of the future.

Joyce was recalled to help soften the blow of losing Carl Crawford, who left Thursday's game with left shoulder soreness and will be evaluated as to the severity of the injury. At the very least, he should sit out Friday's game.

Joyce figures to get the call ahead of backup outfielder Justin Ruggiano in the field, although the Rays could opt to go with Ben Zobrist in left, Sean Rodriguez in right, Jason Bartlett at short and Reid Brignac at second. However, that would leave Willy Aybar as the only middle infielder on the bench and he only sparingly plays second.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Matt Joyce, Rays
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