5/8/2014 11:25 P.M. ET
Joseph soaks in first start, ready for Camden Yards
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph was buried in text messages following Wednesday's Major League debut, as he got about 130 well-wishes and has tried his best to respond to each one individually.
Joseph, who made his second start behind the plate on Thursday, had a pretty good cheering section on hand in his debut despite the short notice. His wife flew stand-by to make it around the fifth inning and he had a couple family friends, college roommates along with his cousin, uncle and childhood mentor all in attendance. Even so, the 28-year-old said he wasn't nervous on the field with the whirlwind last few days actually more nerve-wracking than catching. That will change when he arrives in Baltimore on Friday.
"I think that's when it will hit me," Joseph said of playing at Camden Yards. "When I walk into that clubhouse. That dugout. I've been to games there, sat in the stands on my off-day [in the Minor Leagues]."
Joseph, a right-handed hitter, has gotten the call against both of Tampa Bay's left-handed starters but with Houston slated to throw three righties it's unclear when Joseph will make his first home start. But he's already made a good experience on manager Buck Showalter.
"You think about so many people. Just one night. But a big night for him. For us," Showalter said. "You think about referee'ing or umpiring the greatest accolade is when you don't know notice somebody. I didn't really notice Caleb that much. The last inning got a little fast. I thought [bench coach] John Russell did a nice job of slowing down the game for him."
Davis may start rehab assignment on Saturday
ST. PETERSBURG -- Chris Davis will go through a series of on-field tests in Baltimore on Friday and, assuming everything goes perfectly, he could potentially start his rehab assignment on Saturday.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter cautioned reporters that Saturday is still only a possibility, although Davis has progressed quickly from a left oblique strain and hasn't had any setbacks so far. The slugger has been traveling with the team and working out, taking swings again on Thursday and will take live batting practice on Friday.
It hasn't been decided where Davis will go for his rehab, which will likely be two or three days, but both Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie are home on Saturday.
Britton continues to be potent weapon out of 'pen
ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles lefty Zach Britton tossed a scoreless inning in Wednesday's win, lowering his ERA to a 0.89 in the process as he continues to be a valuable weapon for O's manager Buck Showalter.
Britton has also been an oft-used reliever, entering Thursday tied for the third-most relief innings in the American League (20 1/3), and he said that it's been an adjustment going from the rotation to the 'pen.
"The big thing is making sure the ball is still sinking and the velocity is still there," said Britton, who had just one back-to-back outing this spring. "So far, so good. I haven't gone back-to-back-to-back yet. I'm sure that will happen. I think we are managing it well."
Britton is one of four lefties in the Orioles bullpen, which is unusual for the Major Leagues.
Asked whether he'd prefer having four right-handers in his bullpen instead of four lefties, Showalter replied, "I'd prefer to have seven guys down there who can get people out. How it stacks up, I think sometimes we get too preoccupied with that.
"It depends on what the setup is. It's tough to use Darren [O'Day] and [Ryan] Webb in the same game if you can help it, but I'm going to do it to win a baseball game. ... If you feel like you've got a chance to win a baseball game, you go for it."
• Dylan Bundy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw a 50-pitch side session today and, assuming everything goes according to plan, he will start pitching in extended spring games in less than two weeks.
• Showalter will fly to Fort Worth on Saturday to see his son, Nathan, graduate from TCU. He expects to be back in time for the game. He will, however, miss the team's Saturday game in Kansas City as his daughter, Allie, graduates from law school at SMU.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.