Joyce starts rehab stint, could return soon

Joyce starts rehab stint, could return soon

Joyce starts rehab stint, could return soon
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays outfielder Matt Joyce performed well in his first rehab start on Sunday as he continues to work toward returning to the team.

The outfielder led off for Class A Charlotte and went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, and also walked and scored a run.

Joyce, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a left external oblique strain, is scheduled to play Monday and Tuesday before being reevaluated by the club.

"He's doing well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's making good progress. Hopefully we're gonna see him in the next couple days here."

Joyce could be back as soon as Wednesday when the Rays play the third game of a four-game series against the Indians. Maddon would not elaborate on a corresponding roster move to make room for Joyce, only saying that it has been discussed.

Maddon also said injured third baseman Evan Longoria may travel with the team during its next road trip, which begins in Baltimore on July 24, to monitor him, though there is still no timetable for his return.

"We want to keep him close at hand and watch him work and just try to see if we can keep improving upon it," Maddon said.

Longoria was batting .329 on the season before a partially torn left hamstring sidelined him on April 30. Tampa Bay is 31-35 in his absence.