Color us surprised…

Via Marc Lancaster’s Twitter account [Ed. note: It is now up on Lancaster's blog] we learn that Matt Joyce will be on the opening day roster and may start in center field in place of BJ Upton and ahead of Ben Zobrist (Does Zobrist start against lefties?). His stay should be short as Upton is expected to be ready after a week or two.

Also from Lancaster…Jeff Niemann says that he and Jason Hammel will not accompany the team to Philadelphia this weekend and will remain in Port Charlotte to workout.



  1. Justin says:

    Got your link right here:

  2. Charles says:

    So, on a scale of 1-10, chances of Ruggiano ending up in one of the brewing trades? Joyce winning this job with all the time he missed seems to be a pretty strong no-confidence vote in Ruggiano.

  3. Joe D. says:

    Prof., Do you think that Niemann and Hammel not going on the Philly Trip is any indication one way or another that these guys are going to be traded in the next day or so? (i.e. being kept fresh and unavailable to pitch in a game, so that they can pass a physical should one of them be traded?)

    • I would say that is the most likely reason. Otherwise, why isn’t James Shields being held back considering he is the opening day starter? No way he is pitchng this weekend.

  4. themarksmith says:

    Do you think Joyce can show enough in the first two weeks to grab the full-time job in right when Upton comes back? Forgive me if I think Joyce is better than the platoon that will go out there.

    • i wish he would, but the problem is, I doubt he will get many ABs against lefties and that is what the Rays want to see before they give him the fulltime job.

      But if they do let him start a game or two against lefties, that means they are at least thinking about it, so we will have to wait and see.

  5. Don says:

    I’ve got that sick(Josh Hamilton) feeling, we gave up a solid
    5th pitcher for two bums they now want to trade (for what)??
    Well, at least Matt gets to play center for 2 weeks and then platoon with two/three/four other guys in right!

    • Jim says:

      Josh Hamilton was a mistake Rays management readily acknowledges, but is Jason Hammels REALLY a SOLID 5th starter, or is Nieman? Nieman has the looks to be a stud closer, Hammels is not the answer, and if he is, I hate to even ask the question. I’d rather have King David or Wade Davis. In fact, the all knowing Professor has stated CC couild be trade bait if we stumble this year. I think it may be Kid K, I do believe he has reached his peak. 5’10 and a buck 60, does not make a power pitcher.

      • MJ says:

        I think Special K goes before CC. A lot of people (me included) are feeling a very good season from crawford coming on this year. I’d like to see him get back to .315 with about 15 HR and 45-50 SB and then sign him to a 3-4 yr deal. If they trade Kaz, they can free some payroll, get some good talent, and will have a much easier time replacing him (Davis/Hellickson) than Crawford in left.

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      Getting harder to complain about Joyce isn’t it Don… all your whining about trading No-Win Jackson for “nobody” as you say, isn’t looking like as compelling an argument anymore is it?

      Why is it so hard for you to see that with the depth of QUALITY pitchers the Rays have that there was no reason to keep a loose cannon like EJax around… get over it!

      This isn’t even remotely similar to the Hamilton situation, by the way.

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