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Rays

Rays' Joyce unlikely to start Opening Day

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Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 06:57 PM
FORT MYERS -

Rays manager Joe Maddon hints more and more each day that Matt Joyce won't be healthy enough to start the season because of a strained right elbow that has kept the right fielder from playing the outfield since March 11.

Joyce, the former Armwood High standout, said he won't say he's headed for the disabled list until he's told he is headed toward the disabled list.

"Not yet," he said Sunday. "Not while it's still day-to-day."

But Maddon, during his daily media session Tuesday, said that's likely the case.

"I'm not highly optimistic at this point he's going to be ready for the season, but still holding out on it a little bit to make sure," Maddon said. "I talked to (athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) again. More than likely not be ready but we don't want to rule it out yet."

Joyce said after Sunday's game that he can throw a baseball about 90 feet but not with any zip on the throw.

"It's coming along, but it's a slow process," he said. "I'm trying to be patient with it, but it's tough."

Joyce said he's still hesitant to "let it go."

"I feel like if I try to let it go it'll happen again and I'll be back to square one."

When asked if he felt he would be ready by Opening Day, which is April 6, Joyce said, "At this point I have no idea what's going to happen."

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