Joe Maddon had some strong words on Matt Joyce’s recent domination of triple-A…
“He’s pounding on the door pretty loudly right now,” Maddon said. “So we’re paying attention.”
So the Rays have taken notice of Joyce’s production (.343 in 18 games, 7-16 vs LHP), but is there room for Joyce at the big league level?
What is interesting is that the Rays had a plan before the season and all indications were that a spot on the 25-man roster was Joyce’s to lose. But then he got hurt. And then the Rays promoted Hank Blalock.
So the question is: Is Blalock any better than Joyce? Certainly Joyce can duplicate Blalock’s .250/.304/.346. And certainly Joyce has a better shot at being a part of the Rays future than Blalock.
So why keep Blalock?
The only reason would seem to be that if Joyce is promoted, Blalock would have to be let go. With Blalock, the Rays can hoard both players, and the Rays do like to horde players.
But if Joyce is a better option than Blalock, and the Rays are set on winning this year, then keeping Blalock just for the sake of keeping him, seems kinda silly.