Orioles' Caleb Joseph ready for a fresh start both at the plate and behind it

While reserve catcher Caleb Joseph prepared to make his first start of the 2017 season on Sunday afternoon, he said he is confident he'll do a better job adapting to his reserve role than he did last year.

"I think last year it was more of a challenge,'' he said. "This year, I've got a little more experience with it. I know what I need to do to stay sharp, whereas last year I had to search and figure that out.


"I feel confident and I have a better grip on what's going on. I feel good and I'm ready to go."

Joseph will be behind the plate for left-hander Wade Miley's first start of the new season, so both of them will be looking to settle into a routine.

"We have some things we want to do -- things that we stuck to in spring that worked out really well," Joseph said. "I thought he had a really nice spring, and we've already talked about continuing some of those things no matter what the situation is."

"He's already said, 'I may need you to do this' or 'I may need you to do that' in terms of helping keep him accountable for some of these things. That's the job of the catcher. That's what you have to do. Some guys need a pat on the shoulder. Some guys need a kick in the pants.

"I'm excited about what Wade's going to bring. We need him, and we're getting ready to see what he's going to bring today."

Joseph has had the whole offseason to think about the struggles he had at the plate. He's still looking for his first RBI in a regular season game since 2015, but he made some adjustments in his hitting mechancs and had a good spring at the plate.

"I have confidence in myself. I'm not sure I could have said that last year," Joseph said. "I have a better idea of what I'm getting into and I have things that are actually repeatable this year with the routines. I feel very comfortable. If I go 0-for-4, it's OK. I'll have good, competitive at-bats and see what happens.

"My No. 1 priority is to get Wade as deep in the game for the Orioles to win the ballgame. If I contribute offensively, it's a plus. It's like going right back to 2014. That's how I have to approach it. My No. 1 to goal is to impact the game on defense. If I impact the game on offense, it's a plus."