Caleb Joseph on late-season slump and his first playoff series, plus O's hot hitters

The Orioles have a couple of players that ended the 2014 regular season slumping. They will look to get their bats going in the American League Division Series against Detroit. Catcher Caleb Joseph ended the year going 0-for-30 over his last 10 games as his average dropped from .236 to .207. Joseph hit just .080 (4-for-50) in September with 18 strikeouts. He said he felt he did not wear down physically, but this is the longest he's ever played in a season. joseph-looking-over-in-gear-white-sidebar.jpg"The best part about the postseason is everyone starts at zero again," Joseph said. "It's almost like a brand new season. Ultimately I'm here to catch and I'm here to help those guys get through quality innings and starts and do my part defensively. If I can contribute on offense here and there, that would be great. "But what is best for the team is for me to focus on my defense, controlling the running game and putting down good fingers (calling pitches). "At the end of the day, this is the time it really matters whether you get a W or not. Who cares if you go 4-for-4, but you lose? If I take an 0-for and we win, I'm the most excited guy in the clubhouse." Joseph homered in five straight games from Aug. 2-9, setting the Orioles record for a catcher. Joseph threw out 38.2 percent of attempted basestealers. He fell three games short of qualifying, but his 38.2 percent would have been second-best in the majors and would've led the AL. For many Orioles, Joseph included, this will be their first experience in the postseason. So how will he handle that? "Stay within. Do the things consistently that you've done since the first day here," Joseph said. "This team isn't expecting me to come out be a star. If we just continue to do what we've done over 162, we like our chances. Play the best you can and lay it out on the line." He could say the same about the team. "We're excited," he said. "We've been pushing toward this goal from the first day of spring training. We had to overcome a lot of things this year. We've been well prepared by our coaching staff. We're confident that whatever is thrown at us this series we can handle. This team is ready." Here's a look at several O's that ended the regular season hitting well: * Nelson Cruz batted .345 his last 27 games with eight doubles, two triples, six homers and 20 RBIs. * Ryan Flaherty hit .314 his last 16 games with four doubles, a homer and eight RBIs. * Steve Pearce batted .317 his last 29 games with 10 doubles, 10 homers and 18 RBIs. In September, Pearce had a .685 slugging percentage and a 1.149 OPS. * Adam Jones went 5-for-17 with two homers during a four-game hitting streak. He has hit four homers his last eight games. * Nick Markakis went 8-for-18 with two homers and six RBIs his last five games after batting just .157 the previous 13 games. By the way, Jones and Markakis are a combined 20-for-43 (.465) with five doubles and three homers against Max Scherzer, today's Detroit starter.

Looking at the Orioles' omissions on ALDS roster
Jimenez included on ALDS roster

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