Carl Crawford is hurting, so Rays call up Matt Joyce

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Carl Crawford exited last night’s game with a sore left shoulder, so while the Rays await word on the seriousness of the injury they called up outfielder Matt Joyce from Triple-A. Joyce missed out on possibly being the Opening Day starter in right field because of a spring elbow injury, but was playing well at Triple-A and is deserving of the promotion regardless of Crawford’s status.
Acquired from the Tigers for Edwin Jackson last offseason, Joyce has hit .275/.376/.501 with 32 homers and 56 doubles in 192 games at Triple-A. He strikes out a lot and won’t hit for much of a batting average, but as a left-handed bat with 25-homer power would make a nice platoon starter at the very least if needed.
To clear a roster spot for Joyce the Rays demoted Dioner Navarro to Triple-A. Navarro has been the Opening Day starter for the past four seasons, but hit just .216/.268/.314 in 151 games dating back to last season and the emergence of John Jaso combined with Kelly Shoppach’s presence made him the odd man out behind the plate. If the Rays can find a taker for the rest of his $2.1 million contract, they’d almost surely dump Navarro.

Giants activate Hunter Strickland

Hunter Strickland
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Giants reliever Hunter Strickland has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, the club announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, third baseman Pablo Sandoval was shifted to the 60-day disabled list, where he’ll remain for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right hamstring. Right-handed reliever Dereck Rodriguez has also been placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a hamstring strain during Tuesday’s brawl against the Dodgers.

Strickland, 29, had been shelved with a fractured right hand since mid-June. The right-hander sustained the injury after punching a door and underwent surgery to repair the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand. He only missed the minimum after making a speedy recovery, however, and finished his recent rehab stint with 5 2/3 innings of two-run, 10-strikeout ball for the Giants’ rookie, High-A and Triple-A affiliates.

Prior to the incident, Strickland logged 13 saves in 28 opportunities with a 2.84 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 34 appearances. According to comments from club skipper Bruce Bochy, the Giants don’t plan on wasting any time before deploying their former closer, but will make him available in high-leverage situations as soon as possible. It’s worth noting, too, that the team still has a viable closer in lefty reliever Will Smith, who picked up 10 saves and engineered a 3.10 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 12.8 SO/9 in 20 1/3 innings since Strickland landed on the DL this summer.