R.J. said he was ready and apparently the Rays feel the same way. After today's 5-2 victory, the Rays recalled outfielder Matt Joyce from Triple-A Durham. He will take the spot of folktale legend Dale Thayer. Thayer went 0-0 with a 5.06 ERA/3.71 FIP in 5.1 innings spanning over three games. He recorded a save in his first appearance. After a long time in the minor leagues we saw a lot of good from Thayer including a nice fastball to go with his slider. If anything, this stint proved he can get major league hitters out and he should be back up if an opening presents itself in the bullpen. However, let's turn our attention to Joyce.
Joyce was hitting .315/.408/.530 with five home runs, 15 doubles and 25 RBI for the Durham Bulls. In 401 career plate appearances at the Triple-A level, Joyce has hit .293/.380/.540 with 18 home runs and 28 doubles. It seems that the Rays agree that there is nothing left for him to prove at that level and it's time for him to start bringing that production to the big leagues. With Ben Zobrist manning either middle infield position these days, there is an opening in the lineup for Joyce. Gabe Gross continues to be good at being average, but he isn't exactly a player who should block Joyce. The Rays also have an opening at DH with Pat Burrell's return uncertain meaning the Gabe of the day still could contribute from that spot.
Like R.J. said, Joyce is going to strike out, but he's also going to slug, play above average defense and take his walks. I guess for Matt Joyce, the time is NOW!
Just saw the tweet come across announcing that the Rays have called up OF Matt Joyce and sent down relief pitcher Dale Thayer.