Adaptable Joyce proving a weapon for A's

Adaptable Joyce proving a weapon for A's

SEATTLE -- A's outfielder Matt Joyce has been seen in every batting position but cleanup this season, which could soon change.

"He's hit everywhere in the lineup but fourth," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "so he's kind of lobbying for that spot. At some point in time I guess I have to get him there."

Joyce is making a strong case for a tryout, following up Friday's 3-for-4 night with another impressive showing in Saturday's 7-6 loss in Seattle, launching a three-run home run and reaching base twice on a pair of walks. He's up to 21 homers, two more than his previous career high.

"He's adaptable at any position, so that would suggest he does adapt well," Melvin said.

This thinking led Melvin to give Joyce his first start in center field since 2009 on Saturday. Joyce made four starts at the position for the Rays eight years ago, his only other experience there coming in high school.

The shift allowed Melvin to keep rookie Chad Pinder in right field.

"He always tells me he's comfortable anywhere," Melvin said. "Kinda use the phrase, 'An outfielder's an outfielder.' We've had Pinder out there a little bit, a guy that's come from the infield. He's been so comfortable in right field, and I think we've thrown enough at him this year, I'd hate to see him have a tough game and kind of lose the momentum that we've gotten from him in the outfield."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.