Matt Joyce was supposed to provide some pop from the left side of the plate for the Angels after they acquired him from the Rays this offseason, but instead he’s been terrible and has now been benched.
Joyce was out of the Angels’ lineup Sunday against a right-handed pitcher in what Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times calls “an indication they are running out of patience with the struggling outfielder.”
Joyce posted a .783 OPS from 2008-2014, including an OPS above .725 every season and especially good numbers versus right-handed pitching, but this year he’s hitting .183 through 56 games. It’s also worth noting that he struggled in the second half of last season for the Rays, suggesting his drop in production now may be more than just a two-month slump.
According to manager Mike Scioscia the team has not considered simply releasing Joyce, who’s making $4.75 million, but their alternatives would be unproven, relatively low-upside hitters playing out of position like Johnny Giavotella, Efren Navarro, Kyle Kubitza, and Taylor Featherson.