Joseph's visit to SF brings career full circle

Phillies first baseman appreciates playing vs. Giants, who drafted him

Joseph's visit to SF brings career full circle

SAN FRANCISCO -- Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph was ruled out of Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins because of a cold. But, as Joseph noted before Saturday's game against the San Francisco Giants, it was going to take much more than a minor illness to keep him from playing this weekend against the club that drafted him.

"I was going to do everything I could to be healthy when I got here," Joseph said. "This series means a lot to me. I'm always going to have something special for the Giants because they're the first organization to give me the opportunity to play professional baseball."

The Giants took Joseph in the second round of the 2009 Draft as a catcher, only to send him to Philadelphia in 2012 as part of a trade that sent Hunter Pence to San Francisco. Joseph returned Friday, this time as a first baseman coming off the bench in the Phillies' 5-4 loss in the series opener.

For Joseph, the night served as his career coming full circle, especially considering the difficult path he took to get back to AT&T Park, a journey that included two concussions, a wrist surgery and a change in positions. The last time he'd been at the ballpark was just after the Giants drafted him.

"It's fun to be back," Joseph said. "Just getting the opportunity to play against guys I played with in the Minor Leagues. It's fun to get the opportunity."

Joseph was back in the starting lineup Saturday for the Phillies. He entered Saturday batting .095 (4-for-42) in his last 11 games.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.