Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph underwent a surgical procedure last night at an area hospital after being examined by a urologist. He’s back home and resting while the Orioles continue their four-game series against the Red Sox.
Joseph was hit in the groin area by a foul ball yesterday in the eighth inning and the Orioles placed him on the disabled list this afternoon with a “testicular injury.” They recalled catcher Francisco Pena from Triple-A Norfolk.
Manager Buck Showalter confirmed the procedure, but declined to provide details. He mentioned that it’s enough to make anyone grimace.
Showalter said head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and team physician Dr. William Goldiner were concerned by some of Joseph’s symptoms after the game.
“Decided to take him down and get checked out,” Showalter said. “The urologist didn’t like some things and they went in and what they did. I’m not going to get into all the details, but definitely DL. I’d be guessing about length of time. There’s not a whole lot of history that, if you have this done and you’re a catcher, when will you be able to catch again? So obviously not in those 15 days.”
Joseph stayed in the game before heading to the hospital.
“I knew Caleb was tough,” said Matt Wieters. “That’s a tough one. Whether it’s as bad as Caleb got hit or not quite as severe, it still doesn’t feel good. I think you don’t quite know how bad it is. Unfortunately for Caleb, it was a little worse than the usual shot off the cup, but the doctors took care of everything they needed to take care of and he’ll be back soon.
“I think every man can probably sympathize with Caleb a little bit. I’m sure he’s pretty sore today, but talking to him this morning, everything went as well as it could have last night. So to be able to kind of rest a little bit and then get him back here at full strength will be good.
“I didn’t really know the severity of it at the time. It happens so often to catchers, you don’t really assume that it’s as severe as it was. He’s a tough kid who’s been through a lot of grinding in the minor leagues, so it takes a lot to be able to get him out of the game. I wasn’t surprised at all that he stayed in. But I definitely wish it wasn’t as bad as it was. Hopefully, everything will be fine once the soreness goes away and he’ll be back.”
Showalter said he was impressed “without a doubt” by Joseph continuing to catch yesterday.
“I knew from knowing Caleb that for him to be down on his knees like that ...,” Showalter said.
“I think it’s probably something as you kind of get away and you get out of the moment ... I don’t have anything to base it on. You just go by what the guy’s telling you and what he’s doing on the field. There was nothing. We were watching closely. Everybody tends to initially, let’s face it, kind of snicker some when that happens, but anybody who’s had it happen, it’s very serious and we always treat it that way.”
The injury won’t impact Wieters’ work schedule.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Showalter said. “We’re not going to start pushing up his load and jeopardize something down the road. He may feel differently, but we’ll take it day to day. Shouldn’t change anything about that, but we’ll see.”
Said Wieters: “I feel good, but I also feel like Frankie’s a guy who can go back there and catch, too. I think that’s one thing we’ve always appreciated. You’ve got to be able to have guys in Double-A and Triple-A who can step in and play in a big league game. We’re not going to call anybody up who we don’t feel can go out there and catch in a game, so whatever needs to happen for the team to win games, I’m all for. But I have complete confidence in Frankie getting back there and catching big league games and getting wins.”
Wieters saw Pena catch in spring training and was impressed.
“He’s a very solid catcher,” Wieters said. “He’s a guy who, all the guys we brought into spring training were great defensively, so they were able to catch and throw and be able to call a game. As a catcher that’s really your main job, so I’m confident he’ll be able to step in and do a fine job.”
Showalter said the Orioles had two options, including Norfolk’s Audry Perez, and they chose Pena.
“He’s on the (40-man) roster, he’s been catching well down there. Both of them have been doing well,” Showalter said.
“He’s had some experience up here. I like both of them. I felt like we were in good shape from a depth standpoint. Try to take the best player. This one was tough because they’ve both been doing well down there.”
I’ll pass along comments from Pena in my next entry. He’s wearing No. 27.