Here is a nice find by The Ray Area who attended a function with Joe Maddon as the guest speaker. We strongly encourage clicking through to read several other thoughts from JoeMa. But the one we were most intrigued by was Maddon’s plans for Matt Joyce….
Matt Joyce will ultimately be an everyday outfielder but, not on opening day. Maddon intends to ease him in against LHP by using him against reverse-split lefties (lefties that are harder on right-handed hitters than they are on left-handed hitters). In Maddon’s view, reverse-split lefties (particularly lefties that use a high-arm angle and rely heavily on a cutter — like Jon Lester, who Maddon specifically identified) give Joyce the opportunity to transfer his success against righties and Maddon hopes that success against reverse-split lefties will ultimately give Joyce confidence against more traditional lefties.
We have long had our sites set on Joyce as the one player that could explode onto the scene this year and have a big breakout season. But that could be tempered a bit if Joyce is only playing two-thirds of the games the first half of the year.
Keep in mind, Joyce still only has 51 career at bats against left-handed pitchers.
Still, we are excited at the prospect that Maddon does at least plan to have Joyce in there as a most-days outfielder at some point.