ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — The Orioles added another utility infielder to their expanded roster before Friday’s series opener at Tampa Bay, selecting the contract of Corban Joseph.
Joseph had a brief six-day big league stay in June, when he went 1-for-9 playing in four games with the Orioles in his most extended major league stint. He was designated for assignment, cleared waivers and was outrighted back to Double-A Bowie, remaining in the organization. (He is the brother of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph).
With the selection of Joseph’s contract – and the addition of right-hander Luis Ortiz earlier this week – the Orioles’ organizational roster is at a full 40 players. The active roster is now at 31 players.
He posted a .289/.369/.446 with nine homers and 34 homers in 63 games since returning to the minors. On the season, Joseph hit .312/.381/.497 with 30 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 68 RBIs and eight steals in 10 attempts in 122 games, making the Eastern League All-Star team, which is selected by managers, coaches and media.
Joseph, who will turn 30 next month and has spent parts of 11 years in the minors, said the success he’s had this season has been important putting him back on the map. Joseph has been in four different organizations, including two stints with the Orioles.
“It meant a lot,” Joseph said. “I think everyone in a certain time in their career have to kind of do something a little different. This year, I know I kind of had to have a breakout year being 29 years old and going on 30, it gets tougher and tougher.
“The game is always evolving into younger players, so I really tried to steal more bases and do a lot better with laying down bunts, moving guys over and getting guys in.”
Another utility man, Steve Wilkerson, is joining the club today in Tampa Bay, but won’t be available as he works his way back from a hamstring injury. He was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk earlier this week in Seattle, but still isn't ready for big league games.