Pirates confirm signing of Matt Joyce to minor league deal
February 20, 2016 8:57 AM
Dave Martin/Associated Press
Matt Joyce has spent time with the Rays, Tigers and Angels.
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates made official this morning the signing of outfielder Matt Joyce to a minor league contract. Joyce will attend major league spring training and has a good chance to make the active roster.
“[Manager] Clint [Hurdle] said they see me as kind of like the fourth outfielder, but obviously I’ve got to come in and win a job and show them that I am ready,” Joyce said.
Joyce, 31, was a solid player for five of his first six major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays. In 2015, with the Los Angeles Angels, he struggled, hitting .174 with a .564 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Matt Joyce addresses the media
Outfielder Matt Joyce signed a minor league contract with the Pirates that includes an invite to major league camp.
“You can talk about mechanics and you can talk about defensive shifts,” Joyce said. “I think it’s a group of those things. I think it’s a handful of those things that kind of happened and transpired into the frustrating year that I had.”
Joyce, a left-handed batter, hit .254 with a .349 on-base percentage in 2014 and made the All-Star team in 2011, when he hit .277 with 19 home runs.
“You can fall into bad habits as a hitter and not necessarily know you’re doing it,” he said. “I think that was a case of what happened last year until I started talking to people and really looking at what I was doing.”
Joyce can play both corner outfield spots and said he wants to work on playing first base this spring.
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