ST. PETERSBURG -- Caleb Joseph was in trouble. Big trouble.
The Triple-A Norfolk catcher was being chewed out by manager Ron Johnson after talking to a player on the opposing team during batting practice on Tuesday.
"R.J. is a character, so I've never seen like a really, really, really serious side to him, so I was scared to death," said Joseph, who has spent seven seasons in the Minors. "I said, 'Man, I'm really sorry. I'll never talk to anybody on their team ever again. I won't even talk to you if you don't want me to.' And he goes, 'Yeah, we're going to scratch you. We're also scratching you because you're going to Florida tomorrow.' I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' I lost it at that point. I was like, 'That is not how I dreamed about it.' But it was great. It was a good moment."
Joseph didn't just get his first Major League callup to be an insurance policy: Orioles manager Buck Showalter put him in Wednesday night's starting lineup against the Rays. Usual starter Matt Wieters, who had his right elbow examined earlier in the day, was available off the bench to hit, giving the O's three catchers on their roster.
"He's kind of been a steady climber," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the right-handed-hitting Joseph. "He really wants this. A lot of guys this gets tough to keep girding through and improving. He's gotten a little better each year. ... The one common thing, pitchers really like throwing to him. Very engaged in the game. I think he'll be a quick study with advanced reports.
To make room for Joseph on the 25-man roster, the Orioles, who had a spot on their 40-man open to purchase his contract, optioned infielder Jemile Weeks to Triple-A.
"It was a thing where they had to make room, make space, and if you've been watching how they've run the team and the lineups and stuff, I was the odd guy out," said Weeks, who hit .273 in three games. "There's no bitterness or anything."
Joseph, the 2013 Eastern League Player of the Year, has two homers and 11 RBIs to go along with a .261 average in 22 games for Norfolk this season.
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.