BOWIE, Md. - It has been an interesting first few weeks of the season for Double-A Bowie’s Caleb Joseph. He has been hitting the ball very well for the Baysox, but has had just two starts as a catcher, which was his regular position until this year with the O’s organization.
But now, after starting 11 times as a designated hitter, three at first base, once in left and twice behind the plate, Joseph is moving back to more catching duty and he got that word recently from Orioles minor league management.
“This could be something that goes from now until the end of the season or next month,” Joseph said outside the Bowie clubhouse. “They have told me I’ll be catching more now. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers. I’m just excited I’m in the lineup and I’ll be ready. When I am in the lineup every day, you’ll hear no complaints from me about anything.”
Joseph is batting .313 with five homers and 21 RBIs over 17 games. He has a slugging percentage of .657 and OPS of 1.004. He currently is tied for first in the league in homers and extra-base hits and leads the Eastern League in slugging. He is second in RBIs.
The Baysox began the year with Brian Ward and Luis Martinez sharing time behind the plate, but now that has changed.
“Caleb is going to get the bulk of the innings (catching). In a four-game series, he might start two or three games,” Bowie manager Gary Kendall said.
“(O’s director of player development) Brian Graham had talked to me when we were in Akron about getting him back behind the plate more. Not that he was ever someone that wasn’t looked at as a catcher, but we broke camp with three catchers and he was probably the most viable to play some other positions. But Brian has expressed an interest about getting him back behind the plate more.”
Ironically, Joseph will start in left field here tonight. He was originally listed to catch this game, but the Baysox have a few players under the weather and made some late changes to their lineup. The plan, going forward, is still for Joseph to catch more.
Kevin Gausman’s next start for the Baysox is scheduled for Sunday here against Harrisburg. Gausman gave up three runs (one earned) over five innings in his last start at Akron. On the season, the right-hander is 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA over four starts, allowing 26 hits in 21 innings with one walk and 21 strikeouts.
“His last start in Akron was much better. Should have gotten a win,” Kendall said. “He’s throwing strikes, not walking people. He’s a worker. This league is pretty good. There is some age in this league and experience. He certainly has the makings of being a really good one.”
Gausman arrived late today and was not on the field when the Baysox came out earlier for pregame work. But it was just because he had car trouble and the team knew he would be late to the field.