DeJesus to take the role of former teammate Joyce

DeJesus to take the role of former teammate Joyce

HOUSTON -- David DeJesus spent a year and a half teaming with Matt Joyce on the Rays. Now, DeJesus' presence on the Angels is a big reason why Joyce no longer has a role.

"It's weird," DeJesus said. "But that's part of the game. I had a good relationship with him. We had a friendship off the field. When it comes to, this is a tough situation. I hope he can get healthy and get back to himself, because I've seen him as a really good player."

If that does happen, Joyce probably won't be contributing for the Angels.

Acquired from the Rays for hard-throwing reliever Kevin Jepsen in the middle of December, Joyce batted .178/.279/.298 in his first 278 plate appearances with the Angels -- way below his previous career mark of .250/.342/.441 -- and is currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

The Angels have yet to release Joyce, but may designate him for assignment upon activation from the DL.

DeJesus and David Murphy, both left-handed-hitting left fielders, fill the same role as Joyce. And when both start, the Angels' four bench players would probably be Carlos Perez (backup catcher), Taylor Featherston (backup infielder) and the right-handed portion of the platoons in left field and designated hitter, Shane Victorino and C.J. Cron.

"Matty is a ways away from us having to make any decision with that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said when asked if he envisions a role off the bench for Joyce.

Worth noting

• Victorino has only made 57 career starts in left field, but is expected to start there against lefties. The 34-year-old admitted it would be an adjustment, saying: "It's going to be different for me. It's going to be something I'm going to have to work on."

• Murphy, a longtime member of the division-rival Rangers, on playing for the Angels: "It is a little bit weird, but I don't think it will be weird to be an Angel. It might be a little weird playing Texas as an Angel. On the positive side, I know the American League West pretty well, and I think that's going to help."

• Murphy is wearing No. 19 for the Angels, taking Efren Navarro's number. Murphy wore No. 7 for most of his career, but Collin Cowgill -- on the DL, but still on the roster -- has it. Victorino took No. 18, which used to belong to Kyle Kubitza. DeJesus took No. 3, most recently worn by Drew Butera.

• The Angels are still in search of a bullpen arm and would ideally acquire a reliever who can pitch the seventh inning, before setup man Joe Smith and closer Huston Street. Some potential options are John Axford, Mark Lowe, Jeanmar Gomez and perhaps even Jepsen, who pitched the seventh inning down the stretch last season.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.