Tommy Joseph, once regarded as the Phillies' top catching prospect, will transition to first base after being hindered by a series of concussions.
The 23-year-old suffered his latest concussion in early May when a foul tip smacked his catching mask. Joseph has not played since. He had his first concussion in 2010 and another two years later.
"It's not a sad day," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies director of player development. "He's healthy. He feels good. Not only the concussion stuff, but there was some vision deficiencies that they were able to address that may have been a result of some of his concussions. Tommy's in great spirits."
Jordan said Joseph will spend the next two to three weeks on baseball activities, such as fielding ground balls and playing catch. Joseph will then be sent to Clearwater, Fla., where the Phillies can test him against live pitching. Joseph played 20 games this season with triple-A Lehigh Valley, hitting just .123 in 73 at-bats.
"He's not depressed about it at all and I'm not either," Jordan said. "I'm just looking forward to him getting him out there. I've seen him play first base. He has a really good hands. His bat has always been his carrying tool. I think some of the stuff that he's gone through the last few years has really affected him offensively. But, I think we're past that. Get him back and see what we can come up with."