The Phillies have added a potential bench piece to their spring training roster.
About 15 1/2 years ago, now-Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski selected outfielder Matt Joyce in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. Three years later, the front office executive traded him from the Detroit Tigers to the Tampa Bay Rays for Edwin Jackson.
Fast-forward to February 2021, and the path between Dombrowski and the 2011 American League All-Star have crossed once again. Along with signing closer Brandon Kintzler on Wednesday to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training — thanks to the help of Bryce Harper — the Phillies reached the same agreement with Joyce. Both players were on the 2020 Miami Marlins roster and were contributors to helping the team snap its lengthy postseason drought.
Joyce will serve as a potential bench bat, and if he makes the team, could be relied upon often as a pinch-hitter — especially without the universal designated hitter at manager Joe Girardi‘s disposal.
Throughout his 13-year career, Joyce has slashed .244/.343/.428 with 205 doubles, 15 triples, 147 home runs, 496 RBI, 547 walks, and 919 strikeouts across 1,357 games and nearly 4,300 plate appearances.
The Phillies’ Dave Dombrowski thinks Matt Joyce could be a ‘bench threat.’
Joyce’s best season came in 2011, the year he earned his first and only All-Star nod. Playing 141 games for the Tampa Bay Rays, Joyce slugged 32 doubles, 19 home runs, and 75 RBI, while logging a respectable .277 batting average.
Joyce played in 46 games for the Marlins this past season, hitting .252/.351/.331 with 26 singles, four doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI, 20 walks, and 41 strikeouts through 148 plate appearances.
“[Matt is] a left-handed hitter that has been in the big leagues for an extended period,” Dombrowski told reporters on Wednesday. “He can play left and right field. He is a threat to come off the bench.”