The Angels didn’t trade for Matt Joyce so he could replace Josh Hamilton. But that’s how the scenario played out.
An increased role from part-time outfielder and fill-in designated hitter to replacement for a five-time All-Star and former AL MVP was certainly to the detriment of the former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, who admitted Monday night to feeling added pressure.
“For sure,” Joyce said. “I can’t sit here and say I didn’t feel a lot of pressure or put a lot of pressure on myself to do, or to fill his shoes.”
Joyce hit his first home run of the season Monday, 81 at-bats into his tenure with the Angels. The offseason acquisition in a trade that sent reliever Kevin Jepsen to Tampa Bay is hitting .148, but was out of the lineup on Wednesday for the second consecutive game despite signs he was turning a corner.
“You just want to be successful,” Joyce said. “You’re in a new place, a new environment with that kind of high expectations. It’s tough to go out there and relax sometimes because you want to do so well. I mean this is what you wait your whole life for.”