SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said Tuesday that he had no hard feelings about the outcome of his salary arbitration trial. He lost the ruling and settled for a salary of $700,000 instead of the $1 million he was seeking.
Going to a hearing can be a difficult experience for a player, since he has to listen to the team make a case against him. Joseph, who played well defensively last year but did not drive in a single run, said the club's presentation was straight forward.
"I really appreciated the way they went about the trial," he said. "Their arguments inside the trial, they were very respectful. I didn't walk out of there with any hard feelings. None whatsoever. I don't feel like the relationship changed at all. And I did want to say that because it was a very straight-forward, factual trial.
"I heard some horror stories from people about how bad the experience can be, but for me it was not that bad. And that was good. I'm glad about that. But the main thing is moving forward to '17 and being here, and I'm very excited about that. I've been doing a lot of hard work, mentally and physically, as I've told you guys in the past. I feel really good, and I'm really excited about what '17 is going to hold."
Joseph said he worked hard over the winter on refining his hitting mechanics, but insists that he will not go into the new season worrying about getting his first RBI.
"I want to get off to a great start but I'm not going to hit the panic button if I don't," he said. "I believe the preparation and work is going to allow me to be successful. I cleaned some stuff up, a lot of stuff that I was working on during the season really came together during the offseason. And hopefully put a lot of the freak accidents in the backseat.
"You want to get off to a good start, but I don't come into spring feeling like there's a monkey or a gorilla or a host of gorillas on my back. I really don't. I know I'm a valuable part of this team, period. I'm not going in scared or nervous or shaking if I don't get a hit my first at-bat. That's, I believe in myself way too much to feel that way."