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Joseph holds his own in batter's box, behind plate


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies catcher Tommy Joseph had a pretty good day Wednesday at Bright House Field.

He caught nine innings in a 6-3 victory over the Nationals. He went 3-for-4, including a pair of singles against Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who only happens to be one of the best pitchers on the planet. He also doubled in the sixth. He caught four scoreless innings for Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay, who is pretty particular about his catchers.

"It was awesome," Joseph said. "I got to catch a couple of his bullpens. And then to bring him into a game and do what I got to do was special. It was a lot of fun."

Halladay praised the Phillies' prospect.

"He wanted to talk a lot in between innings, which really isn't my thing," Halladay said with a laugh. "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."

Said Joseph: "Yeah, I tried to talk to him between every inning, just to see how he was feeling, see what he wanted to do the next inning. I was kind of scared at first. I was like, I don't know if he really wants to talk to me. But after a while, as the innings went on, I felt more comfortable."

Joseph is the organization's top position player prospect, according to MLB.com's rankings. He has been impressive in camp.

"He's got to get used to Roy," pitching coach Rich Dubee said about Joseph. "That takes stones. That's good for a catcher. That's leadership. You got a two-time Cy Young guy who's got over 200 wins and he's confident enough to go up there and talk to him. Roy might not be the perfect guy ... but that's good."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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