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Caleb Joseph makes major league debut vs. Rays

BaseballMajor League BaseballJemile WeeksFrancisco Peguero

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Catcher Caleb Joseph was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday and made his major league debut, batting ninth against the Rays. He was 0-for-3 in the game.

To create 25-man roster space for Joseph — a 40-man roster spot was already available — the team optioned infielder Jemile Weeks to Norfolk.

Joseph, the Orioles’ seventh-round pick in 2008, was hitting .261 with two home runs and 11 RBIs at Norfolk. He was the Eastern League Player of the Year in 2013 after hitting 22 home runs and driving in 97 runs for Double-A Bowie.

“He’s kind of been a steady climber,” Showalter said. “He really wants this. A lot of guys, this gets tough to keep grinding through and improving. … Caleb has gotten better and better and better. The one common thing, pitchers really like throwing to him. [He is] very engaged in the game. I think he’ll be a quick study with advanced reports.”

Joseph, who has spent parts of seven years in the Orioles’ minor league system, said Norfolk manager Ron Johnson pulled a prank Tuesday when he told the catcher that he was heading to the major leagues. Johnson scolded Joseph after seeing him talking to a former teammate who is currently on another team, and he told Joseph that he was going to scratch him from the lineup.

“I was scared to death,” Joseph said. “I said, 'Man, I'm really sorry. I'll never talk to anybody on their team ever again. I won't even talk to you if you don't want me to.’ “

Johnson then told Joseph the real reason he was being scratched.

“I was like, 'Oh my gosh,’ “ Joseph said. “I lost it at that point. I was like, 'That is not how I dreamed about it.' But it was great.”

Weeks was 3-for-11 in three games with the Orioles after he was recalled April 26.

“You just keep working on whatever you think your weaknesses are and bettering those and staying consistent with everything else,” Weeks said. “That’s the name of the game, to stay as consistent as possible all season.”

Even though his stint with the major league club was short, Weeks said he took something from the experience.

“Any time you can come up and just watch some of the best guys in the world play baseball and be a part of it in the pregame and the BP, it’s always a positive there,” Weeks said. “But my aspirations aren’t just to come and watch every day. I’m here to play. I think they know that. You’ve just got to do what the game wants you to do for the time being.”

Around the horn

Left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez (sprained knee) threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Wednesday in Sarasota, Fla., and he is scheduled to throw live batting practice Saturday. … Outfielder Francisco Peguero (right wrist) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.

eencina@baltsun.com

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BaseballMajor League BaseballJemile WeeksFrancisco Peguero
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