Orioles notes: Showalter on Joseph/Sisco playing time; Beckham ready for Opening Day

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that he envisions veteran Caleb Joseph getting more playing time than rookie Chance Sisco behind the plate early, but hopes to see that tandem grow into an equal partnership quickly.

"We'll let it develop," Showalter said. "They're both going to catch. I'm hoping that, in a perfect world, you'd be able to split it and keep them all healthy and keep them all engaged. Chance, fortunately, got here last year and got his feet wet, so I think he's another guy that once everything kind of calms down and a lot of the wheels quit turning and it settles into baseball, I think Chance will be more and more of a guy that we're going to want to put out there.


"I'm going to play both of them, as you all well know. We'll start out with Caleb initially, but I'm hoping Chance develops into a guy we feel comfortable with either way."

Ever since Sisco made the team as the second catcher, the notion that one of the team's top prospects should sit on the bench for days at a time has been challenged.

But a straight platoon between the left-handed-hitting Sisco and the right-handed-hitting Joseph would be tilted too far in the other direction, so for the time being Showalter seems like he'll ease Sisco into his major league role.

Each player is coming off a good spring, with Joseph batting .324 with a .904 OPS and five extra-base hits while Sisco hit .429 with a 1.274 OPS and eight extra-base hits.

Joseph will likely get the start on Thursday for Opening Day, and Sisco could get his first start of the season Saturday or Sunday, when the Orioles play a day game after a night game.

Beckham ready for Opening Day

Third baseman Tim Beckham, who tweaked his groin in the final days of spring training and had to stay back two extra days in Florida to test the injury, returned to the club Wednesday and will start Opening Day.

Beckham played in a simulated game Tuesday in Sarasota and the most important part of playing in that game was moving laterally at third base in game speed without discomfort.

“It was good to get out and test it and get out and make some in-game movements and trusting my instincts and know it’s not hanging over my head, thinking I can’t do this or can’t do that or I might tweak it,” Beckham said. “It feels good to be back with the boys and be able to come out tomorrow and contribute.”

Beckham made a relatively seamless transition to third base from shortstop during spring training, but Opening Day will be just his sixth career regular-season start at third.

Around the horn

Left fielder Trey Mancini, who sat out Monday’s exhibition game at Triple-A Norfolk as a precaution with a mild right hamstring strain, said he’s “totally fine” and will be ready for Opening Day. Mancini tweaked his hamstring running up the first base line in Sunday’s Grapefruit League finale, but said he could have played Monday. He received treatment Wednesday. … Right-hander Alex Cobb will participate in Opening Day ceremonies, being introduced and running down the orange carpet, and then return to Florida to continue preparing for the season.