Big League Camp A Learning Experience For Orioles' Joseph





SARASOTA, FLA.—Caleb Joseph walked through the clubhouse and gathered signatures on a baseball, a sure sign that he was being assigned to the minor league camp.

Joseph, a catcher at high Class A Frederick last season, wore a smile on his face as he approached each player. Though he savored his time on the major league side, he knew it would eventually come to an end.

"It's almost indescribable because you gain so much experience," he said. "It's hard to put into words exactly what you learn. You know things, but it's reiterated different ways. And to be able to hang around older guys and experience what they have, you take anything you can from them. It's been a lot of fun. I've had the best time of my life. And it's motivation to work hard and get back next year."

The Orioles extended a spring training invite to Joseph, who was their seventh-round pick in 2008 from Lipscomb, after he batted .284/.337/.450 with 12 homers and 60 RBIs in 104 games at Frederick. The 23-year-old went 1-for-5 in the Grapefruit League.

"It's a sad day because this is your dream and you're living your dream now, and now you have to go back to reality, but it's good because it'll give you a real push to make it," Joseph said.

"I've gained a lot of valuable lessons, just talking to guys like (Chad) Moeller and (Kevin) Millwood and all the coaches, just trying to gather up as much info as you could. But it's time for me to get some innings in and get my season ready. I understand. I wasn't surprised. I've been around the game enough.

"I had a lot of fun. I had a great time. Everybody in this clubhouse welcomed me and was great to me. I had a very good first experience in big league camp. No complaints."

Joseph will likely be assigned to Double-A Bowie. He's blocked at the big league level by Matt Wieters, but the Orioles will cross that bridge when they get to it.

Bird Seed

• The Stockstill brothers are switching roles in the front office. David will become director of international operations, while John will become director of player development.

• Righthander Luis Noel finally reported to minor league camp. Noel, 22, pitched in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League last year because of visa issues that wouldn't allow him to leave the country. He was 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts at low Class A Delmarva in 2008.