CLEARWATER, Fla.—Phillies officials were eager to see Tommy Joseph in big league camp, and he did not disappoint.
However, it was Joseph’s work behind the plate that really impressed folks.
Joseph’s performance against the Nationals on March 6 stood out. He had two hard-hit singles against Stephen Strasburg and connected well with Phillies starter Roy Halladay.
Halladay is known for his laser-like focus during games. Longtime teammates won’t even risk speaking to him between innings because it can be like sticking a finger in an electrical socket. But Joseph, who oozes confidence and maturity, took the risk.
“He wanted to talk a lot between innings, which really isn’t my thing,” Halladay said, “but I didn’t mind because he was just trying to get a feel for what I wanted to do.”
“I was kind of scared at first,” Joseph said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know if he wants to talk to me.’ But as the innings went on, I felt comfortable with him.
“When I started calling pitches and he started throwing what I wanted, I thought, ‘All right, this guys knows what he wants to do and we’re on the same page.’ ”
The interaction with Halladay was typical of the way Joseph, likely bound for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, has handled himself since coming over from the Giants.
“He’s really invested in working with the pitchers, which for me is very exciting,” farm director Joe Jordan said. “He wants to be a good catcher.”
And he’s willing to risk feeling the wrath of Roy Halladay to do it.
“That takes stones,” big league pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “That’s a good catcher. That’s leadership.”
• The Phillies traded minor league righthander Mike Cisco to the Angels in a non-compensation move.
• Non-roster outfielder Jermaine Mitchell, non-tendered by the Athletics in November, went 7-for-26 (.269) with two doubles and three triples through 20 spring games.