Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Tommy Joseph chats up Roy Halladay, hits Stephen Strasburg

Tommy Joseph caught all nine innings Wednesday. He twice singled off Stephen Strasburg, one of the best pitchers on the planet. In between innings, he chatted with the stoic Roy Halladay about pitch selection. That's not a bad day for a 21-year-old kid.

Tommy Joseph chats up Roy Halladay, hits Stephen Strasburg

Phillies catching prospect Tommy Joseph. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Phillies catching prospect Tommy Joseph. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Tommy Joseph caught all nine innings Wednesday. He twice singled off Stephen Strasburg, one of the best pitchers on the planet. In between innings, he chatted with the stoic Roy Halladay about pitch selection.

That's not a bad day for a 21-year-old kid.

"I left him in there, didn't I?" Charlie Manuel said. "I liked the way he was playing."

Joseph, the youngest player in Phillies camp, was 3 for 4. He is hitting .462 (6 for 13) this spring with half of his hits for extra bases.

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He will not make this team and could find himself back at double A because of a catching crunch at the upper levels. But Joseph has made a fine impression during his first camp with the Phillies after being acquired in the trade of Hunter Pence.

Halladay complimented Joseph on his ability to call a game.

"He wanted to talk a lot in between innings, which really isn't my thing," Halladay said, laughing. "But I didn't mind it because he was trying to get a feel for what I wanted to do. I thought he did a great job. He was very on top of things. He was aware of what was going on in the game and the situations. That's what you want to see."

Pitching coach Rich Dubee loved it.

"You know what? That takes some stones," he said. "That's what you're looking for out of a catcher, some leadership. That's pretty good right there. You have a two-time Cy Young winner with almost 200 wins and you feel confident enough that you can go up and talk to him. That's perfect."

Dubee paused.

"Roy might not be the perfect guy," he said, "but that's good."

EXTRA BASES. Competition for the wide-open bullpen race was tight again Wednesday. Mike Stutes, Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman each pitched scoreless innings. The only Phillies pitcher scored upon was Chad Durbin. ... Freddy Galvis made his first-ever appearance at third base in the later innings. "He's going to play there more," Manuel said.


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