Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce is suffering from a prolonged bout of right elbow soreness, according to a report from Julian McWilliams of The Athletic. Joyce hasn’t made a start in the outfield for six consecutive days and will likely be kept off the field for another week, though McWilliams adds that he should still have plenty of time to recover by Opening Day.
Joyce, 33, is entering his second season with the club. He produced some career-high totals in 2017, slashing .243/.335/.473 with 25 home runs, an .808 OPS and 2.4 fWAR in 544 plate appearances. Entering 2018, the veteran outfielder is expected to shift from right field to left field, where he’ll platoon with Chad Pinder as Stephen Piscotty takes over in the right field corner.
While concerning, it doesn’t look like Joyce’s elbow issues will keep him sidelined for much longer. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the left fielder has already started a throwing program, which will help him work back to full strength prior to the A’s season opener on March 29. In the meantime, he’ll be confined to DH duties over the team’s remaining 17 Cactus League contests.