Right Fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Joyce Speaker Profile
Matt Joyce was born August 3, 1984, in Tampa, Florida and is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays.
In 2008, Joyce was one of 21 non-roster invitees to Tigers' spring training. He said: "Your mind races... You're a step closer to the big leagues. It's a big accomplishment, but you have to take it in stride, have fun with it and not pressure yourself too much."
In mid-March Joyce was part of the first-round of spring training cuts, and sent to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. For the season, he batted .270 for Toledo.
The Tigers called him up in early May to take Jacque Jones' spot on the roster. In his major league debut, Joyce played right field and batted seventh in the lineup. In his first at bat, he drew a walk, but went hitless on the evening. Joyce hit his first big league home run on May 10, at home against the New York Yankees. On May 29, Joyce lost his playing time to Marcus Thames, and he was subsequently sent to Toledo. The Tigers recalled Joyce on June 29 after Magglio OrdÃ³Ã±ez went on the disabled list with a pulled oblique.
He batted .252 for the Tigers, in 242 at bats, primarily as a left fielder. On December 10, Joyce was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher Edwin Jackson.
In 2009, Joyce was an opening day starter for the Tampa Bay Rays, filling in for the injured B.J. Upton. He was sent back down to the minors shortly after. He spent the rest of the year with the Durham Bulls. He batted clean-up and hit 35 doubles with a slugging percentage well in the 400s.
He hit .188 in 32 at bats for the Rays, with a .270 on base percentage.
Joyce hurt his elbow early in 2010 spring training, and was on the disabled list. He was recalled to the active roster on June 24, after a minor league rehab stint. He filled the roster spot vacated by catcher Dioner Navarro, who was optioned to the Durham Bulls. Joyce hit a pinch-hit grand slam go-ahead home run in the 8th inning of the Rays-Twins game on July 3 at Target Field, moving to the starting right field position. Joyce hit a grand slam go ahead home run in the 6th inning of Matt Garza's no hitter against the Detroit Tigers, Joyce's former team.
He batted .241 in 216 at bats in 2010, playing right field (77 games) and left field (13 games), and as the designated hitter (11 games).
Joyce has started at right field. He currently has an AL league high batting average of .377 in 153 at bats.
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