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Orioles' Caleb Joseph and Welington Castillo literally splitting time at catcher

When this season started, no one would have suspected that on Aug. 2 Caleb Joseph would have played exactly the same number of games as presumptive everyday catcher Welington Castillo.

Well, guess again. When Joseph crouched behind the plate and accepted the first pitch of Jeremy Hellickson's Orioles career, it was his 61st game appearance of 2017, which exactly equals the number of games Castillo has played.

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Jonathan Schoop is ranked second in the American League in RBI, right behind Nelson Cruz.

Sure, Castillo has been banged up at times and still has significantly more plate appearances than Joseph, but the Orioles seem to have settled into the equivalent of a platoon situation at the catching position.

"We've got two guys playing well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, "and catching in especially August and July is tough and I think it makes both of them better and it makes us better. So, I want to keep them both in the flow. We're lucky to have two guys who can do what they do.

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"Is that by design? I guess so … a little bit. I just want to keep them both in the flow."

Showalter added that the situation would continue to depend on the overall performance of his two catchers, who both have been steady behind the plate and are both swinging the bat well.

"In some cases we'll catch them back to back, but probably try to split it up as much as we can," Showalter said. "And if somebody's got kind of a hot hand with a certain guy, we'll play that into it."

Trumbo confident

Designated hitter-outfielder Mark Trumbo (rib cage soreness) said Wednesday that he "doesn't see why" he won't be ready to go when he's eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list.

"That's encouraging," Showalter said. "What is it, the last day in Anaheim? I'm hoping. The next question once we start, is if they feel like he needs to go take a couple days' at-bats, we'll see. We do not have a minor league team on the West Coast, obviously, so we've got to make that decision."

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette explains why the team so frequently trades international signing bonus slots.

Flaherty update

Utility infielder Ryan Flaherty has tested his shoulder in a handful of games at Double-A Bowie and High-A Frederick and appears close to being ready to rejoin the major league club, but his return does not appear to be imminent.

He has to come back from his rehabilitation assignment by Aug. 15, but Showalter said he hopes it will be sooner than that.

"I'm kind of letting [third base coach Bobby Dickerson], Ryan and [head trainer Richie Bancells] handle that right now," Showalter said. "Bobby talked to him before and after every game. He's going to come here tomorrow, because there's no place to play."

Showalter said that he hopes to see Flaherty play a game or two in the outfield in the minors before returning.

Around the horn

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According to the Elias Sports Bureau, shortstop Tim Beckham became the first player with multiple hits and runs in his first career game with the Orioles after having already played for another team that season since Brook Fordyce, who did so on July 30, 2000. ... Tuesday was the fourth game at Camden Yards this season without a home run by either team. The Orioles are 3-1 in such games. ... Bowling Green announced this week that former Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold will be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

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