Lost in the shuffle of an exciting Atlanta Braves season is the fact that Matt Joyce was a big contributor from the Atlanta bench. The Braves should opt to bring back Joyce as a pinch-hitting option.
The Atlanta Braves focus is on adding a top of the arm rotation and bringing back Josh Donaldson, as it should be. However, Atlanta should also make time to bring back bench bat Matt Joyce. Joyce is coming off of a surprise season for Atlanta and was truly impressive.
In limited opportunities, Joyce hit .295 on the season and consistently hit the ball with authority. He was a perfect fit for an Atlanta team who needed a bench piece they could count on. Joyce did well when forced into the starting lineup as well.
While his average and numbers will drop in larger sample sizes as a pinch-hitter and replacement player there are few better options. If affordable Atlanta should get a deal done with Joyce.
Seemingly he was a great fit in the clubhouse and provided some veteran experience for a young Braves roster.
The problem for Atlanta could be that their hands are tied on making moves until they see where some of the bigger pieces land. Though they have hardly been shy early in the off-season rebuilding their bullpen and bringing back Nick Markakis.
Moves Atlanta had to make if they wanted to take a step forward and keep pace with the Washington Nationals.
Joyce isn’t exactly a blockbuster move, however, it is moves like signing Joyce that will give this team the depth they need to reclaim the division. Depth that the Phillies and Mets won’t have and enough depth to compete with the newly crowned champs the Washington Nationals.
Atlanta needs to continue with their early burst of moves this off-season and continue to make this team better. If not 2020 will end in disappointing fashion for a fan base who has suffered enough disappointment.