9:59 AM EDT, Fri April 28, 2017

A’s Matt Joyce shows signs of coming out of funk

ANAHEIM - Matt Joyce entered Wednesday’s game batting .157 overall, and over the eight previous games, he was just 2 for 23. “It’s a hard game, no doubt about that,” the right fielder said before the game. Manager Bob Melvin noted that Joyce was hitting the ball on the nose the first two weeks, calling him the team’s “unluckiest hitter” early on. Joyce is still collecting walks and he is playing well in the field - including a superb diving catch of a sinking liner by Jefry Marte in the eighth inning Tuesday. Chris Bassitt will hit a major milestone Saturday when he...

A’s continue to stress versatility, especially with Ryon Healy

The A’s had a hitters-only meeting before Friday night’s game, and manager Bob Melvin gave his annual message about versatility. Among the everyday guys, Ryon Healy will be moved around the most, as a first baseman, third baseman and designated hitter. Mark Canha will platoon in right field with Matt Joyce but also be available to play left and first. “We take everything into consideration,” said Melvin, noting he has more right-handed hitters this season and only one switch-hitter, Jed Lowrie. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley was named special assistant to the president, David...

A’s leave Arizona with good mindset, camaraderie

Ariz - After two last-place seasons in which the A’s felt there were some divisive clubhouse elements, the team was careful to bring in well-regarded players with leadership qualities. New third baseman Trevor Plouffe, already cited as a team leader, said, I thought we gelled together as a team. ... Another new player, right fielder Matt Joyce, also is enthusiastic about the A’s state of mind going into the season. This group of guys has just been phenomenal, the kind of character and attitude we have - you couldn’t ask for anything better. Fifth outfielder Jake Smolinski,...

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