Joyce limited to DH duties by elbow soreness

Chapman homers vs. Cubs for first spring hit; Manaea works 4 innings

March 11th, 2018

MESA, Ariz -- A minor right elbow issue has kept Matt Joyce away from the outfield for nearly two weeks.

The A's veteran returned to the lineup at DH on Sunday for the first time since March 4, but he's not expected back in the outfield for several more days. Not since March 1 has he been seen there.

But Joyce believes he'll be ready to man left field come Opening Day.

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"Just felt something and wanted to be really cautious with it," Joyce said. "It's feeling a lot better now."

Joyce's elbow issues date to 2010, when he suffered an elbow strain in Spring Training with the Rays and missed the first three months of the regular season after discovering a small tear in the area. He's since learned to be cautious, which is why the A's opted for an MRI when he began experiencing discomfort while throwing.

The MRI showed no structural damage.

"I went too hard too fast, and I think I just got some inflammation in there and really aggravated it and tried to throw through it," he said, "but sometimes it's better to shut it down."

Joyce, who is making the shift from right field to left this season to accommodate newcomer , will begin a throwing program on Monday and hopes to make his return to the outfield grass by week's end.

"I would imagine, based on the way it feels, we shouldn't have any problems, so I'm excited," he said. "They're very cautious with stuff like that, so make sure I can throw to the point where, if I have to throw in a game, it'll be fine. I would imagine three or four days of the throwing program, then maybe in the outfield hopefully."

A's Spring Training info

Chapman snaps 0-for-15

Third baseman struck out in his first plate appearance Sunday, extending his spring hitless streak to 15 at-bats, before connecting for a three-run homer on his next trip to the plate in the A's 7-2 win over the Cubs.

"I feel like I'm back on the team," Chapman quipped. "I feel I got to contribute a little bit."

Chapman, who got a late start to game action because of right hand soreness, had five strikeouts in his first 15 at-bats. The shot he hit off Cubs lefty in the fourth inning came on the first pitch.

"One, he's got a little flair for the dramatic, and two, he's got some power, so I don't think it's that big a surprise his first hit was a homer," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's always nice to get your first hit, and when it's a home run and you knock in some runs, all the better."

Said Chapman, who belted 14 homers in 84 games as a rookie last year: "If you don't have success right away, especially after working hard in the offseason, you start to get a little frustrated. Today, it was nice to get that first one out of the way."

Lefty started for the A's, getting through four innings with four hits allowed. Two were homers in the second inning, back-to-back shots to -- who clobbered a slider -- and Chris Gimenez, who attacked a first-pitch fastball.

Right-hander finished the game, fanning four over three perfect innings to continue a strong spring. If not in the rotation when the regular season opens, he could be considered for a long-relief role in the bullpen.

A's trim roster

The A's made several more roster cuts following the game, optioning left-hander and right-hander to Triple-A Nashville and reassigning six others to Minor League camp: lefties and , right-handers and , catcher and infielder Nick Noonan.

The A's have 49 players left in camp and are expected to add catcher to their roster on Monday, at which point they will have to make a corresponding 40-man roster move.

Up next

The A's will play host to the Bay Bridge rival Giants at Hohokam Stadium on Monday afternoon. Right-hander will make the start, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT (listen live on Gameday Audio). The Giants will counter with right-hander Chris Stratton.