Caleb Joseph on return to Baltimore, plus other notes

It is a very familiar sight but in an unfamiliar uniform. Catcher Caleb Joseph, the Orioles' seventh-round draft pick in 2008 who spent five seasons with the big league club, returned to Baltimore this week. He's on the Toronto Blue Jays' taxi squad after spending last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After spending a few years wondering if he would ever move past Double-A Bowie on the farm - he played there parts of four seasons - Joseph finally broke into the majors in 2014. At the end of that year he was starting games for the Orioles in the American League Championship Series.

Now this fan and media favorite returns, but this time grabs a locker in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards.

joseph-swing-orange-home-close-sidebar.jpg"It was a mix of sad, happy, odd. A lot of different emotions," he said of returning. "It was unexpected, I didn't expect that. I had incredible moments here. I had incredible memories here. The fans, the people, everything about this city and being here for over a decade. When I left I knew I missed it, I knew it was home. But when I drove here for the first time after not coming back last year, I didn't expect to be overwhelmed with the type of emotions that I had. It was good, very good."

The Orioles squad that he remembers looks very different now, and at the same time he's excited about his current team.

"You have (Alex) Cobb and you have (Chris) Davis, but it really is an odd sight looking at the game from that side, the third base side of the field," Joseph said in a video chat interview. "Never had done that before. It has been pretty weird. But we have an unbelievable club over here. Our record doesn't show it, but we are incredibly talented. I'm so proud of how these guys are fighting through adversity. Being able to watch them grow every day, and just the young pure talent on this team is scary. It's going to be fun."

Joseph worked his way up and played 734 games in the minors over the years. Now, after 402 games with the Orioles and getting into 20 last year with Arizona, he is trying to get used to the role of being a taxi squad player. He's been trying to help out the Blue Jays' two 25-year-old catchers, Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire. But as a taxi squad player he is with the club but not on the active roster right now.

"You're basically on the team, but you just don't play in the games," he said. "You do everything normal as if you're on the team, but you don't suit up or play. You try your best to stay ready. It's almost impossible when you are not in there every other day or whatever. You have to find ways to catch early batting practice or bullpens and stay ready. There are notable names on the injured list every night, so you have to be ready. The Blue Jays have let me travel with the club the whole way, so I feel really a part of the team. I'm really happy here.

"I'm kind of in charge of the postgame celebration. Because we're Canadian, we do three stars of the game. Just like hockey. So, every time we win we have me announcing the three stars and we stand up and celebrate it."

He's still the same articulate, charming and entertaining Caleb Joseph. Wish him well with the Blue Jays this season.

A few notes on a tough 8-7, 10-inning loss:

* It was a brutal loss for the Orioles as Toronto went ahead in the 10th on what was charged as a throwing error on first baseman Chris Davis. His throw from the ground after his diving stop hopped in front of the plate, and catcher Pedro Severino could not make the play. In the last of the 10th, Dwight Smith Jr. ran through a stop sign at third base as the offense could not tie the game up.

* For the second time in three games, right fielder Anthony Santander hit two homers for the Orioles. He extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games. During the streak he is batting .364 (20-for-55) with six doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 15 runs, 18 RBIs and three walks. It is the longest streak by an Oriole since Trey Mancini's 17-game hitting streak in September 2017. On the year, 19 of Santander's 28 hits have been for extra bases, including nine doubles, a triple and nine homers. Santander now has a team-leading eight multi-RBI games and five in his last 10 games.

* Only two players in the majors have hit more homers than the nine Santander has hit. San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. leads the majors with 11, and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is next with 10 home runs. Santander is tied for third in the big leagues in doubles and now ranks second with 25 RBIs. His OPS of 1.035 is 12th in the major leagues.

* O's starter lefty Wade LeBlanc has allowed 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings over his last three starts for an 11.81 ERA. He posted a 4.09 ERA over his first two starts of 2020.

* The O's rotation has a 7.53 ERA over its last seven games and the pitchers have covered just 28 2/3 innings in that stretch. They have four starts of four innings or less over the past seven outings.

Orioles and Blue Jays lineups
Thames more relaxed further down the order

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