TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Rays activated right fielder Matt Joyce from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon, and opted to send infielder Will Rhymes to their minor league team in Durham.
Joyce, who missed 23 games with a left external oblique strain, will rejoin the lineup tonight when the slumping Rays face the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field.
The Rays, losers of 12 of their last 18, were 8-15 without Joyce.
Joyce's will be a welcome bat in a lineup that has produced four or fewer runs in 15 of its last 18 games. He was hitting .279 with 11 home runs, 34 RBIs, a .387 on-base percentage and a .512 slugging percentage at the time of his injury, which occurred June 19 at Washington.
Sending Rhymes down to clear room for Joyce means Hideki Matsui remains with the team, at least until Sam Fuld is activated from the disabled list.