Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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As expected, Joyce sent to Durham
Posted Apr 12, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Apr 12, 2009 at 05:23 PM
BALTIMORE—Following today’s game, the Rays made the expected move to clear a roster spot for B.J. Upton by optioning Matt Joyce to Durham. Upton will be in the lineup tomorrow, leading off and playing center field against the Yankees.
The Rays liked what they saw from Joyce, the Tampa native and Armwood High product acquired from the Tigers in December, and they want him to play regularly in Triple-A.
“He needs to play every day to really be developed,” said Joe Maddon. “I really think he’s going to be a very good player. Say, for instance, if he ends up as our right fielder with Carl and B.J., that’s a lot of athleticism, you’ve got some power between center and right – that’s just a very interesting group. And I think he’s going to hit well. I think he’s going to hit for average as he moves along.”
Joyce knew this move was coming, of course, and he said he enjoyed his time with the team even if he didn’t play to his fullest potential while he was here.
“I don’t feel like I felt as comfortable as I know I can be and played as well as I know I can,” he said. “But it was fun to play, it was fun to hit a home run against the Red Sox and help the team win, ran a couple balls down. Obviously you want to hit .500 and hit five home runs like Longoria over here, but we’re not all that blessed.”