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Joyce able to hit, easing into throwing program

Posted Mar 16, 2010 by Roger Mooney

Updated Mar 16, 2010 at 05:29 PM

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PORT CHARLOTTE Matt Joyce said he expects to start a light throwing program Wednesday morning.

“Sort of ease back into it,” Joyce said before Tuesday night’s game against the visiting Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park. “I can’t throw yet, and obviously that’s a big concern because they want me to play in the outfield and get some innings out there.”

The right fielder has been sidelined since Thursday morning when he strained his right (throwing) elbow while working on hitting the cutoff man.

Joyce can still swing a bat, and Rays manager Joe Maddon said Joyce will play in some minor league games this week, getting as many as six at-bats. Joyce would then get some at-bats as the designated hitter during some Rays games.

Maddon said he doesn’t expect Joyce to return to the outfield until sometime after the weekend.

Joyce said he is concerned the missed time could hamper his chances of making the Opening Day lineup.

“I think it’s something that’s in the back of my mind,” Joyce said. “But I think it’s one of those things that Joe preaches, which is control the controllables. You can’t control whether or not you’re hurt. The only thing you can do is be prepared when you’re on the field, and try to get back on the field as fast as possible. So I’m looking forward to getting back on the field and getting back at it.”

Maddon said it’s still too early to worry about Joyce’s lack of time.

“He hasn’t missed enough time yet to worry about it, but it could get to that point where he won’t be ready, and if he isn’t ready that’s a different set of circumstances,” Maddon said. “He’s still OK.”


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