Tommy Joseph was the prized prospect acquired from San Fran in what has so far been a very lopsided trade that sent Hunter Pence to the Giants in 2012. Concussed early and often at the catcher’s position, Joseph transitioned into being a first baseman over the course of the past year for the Phillies AAA minor league affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in Allentown. Last year, as reported in The Morning Call, Joseph was spending part of his time rehabbing at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s rehabilitation facility at the PPL Center in Allentown and two days per week getting vision training and vestibular therapy with Dr. Michael Gallaway in Marlton, N.J.
Joseph has made an amazing comeback. That, combined with Darin Ruf’s struggles as the Phillies right handed portion of a Ryan Howard platoon at first base, have just earned Tommy his first call-up to The Show today. As noted in Jim Salisbury’s piece on csnphilly.com, vision therapy (with Dr. Gallaway) was a significant factor in restoring Tommy’s abilities:
“I’m finally healthy,” Joseph said. “It feels great to have everything behind me. The obstacles last season were much bigger than anyone knew. Not only did I get another concussion, but I had vision issues tracking the ball.”
Joseph underwent vision and eye therapy and is still committed to the program. It was discovered that he had astigmatism in his right eye. He now wears a contact lens in the eye.
In addition to improved vision, Joseph has improved his conditioning. He weighed 250 pounds when he reported to big-league camp in 2015. He was down to 225 when he reported to minor-league camp this year.
“Over the last few years I’ve had a lot taken away from me,” Joseph said. “There’s no greater feeling than being back on the field again. It’s nice showing up and getting ready to play a game instead of showing up to rehab something.”