Yes, I know. This may sound strange to you all, but seriously.. why not?
Right now, Devin Mesoraco is getting extended playing time because of the injury to Joey Votto. He is the number one catcher on the roster, but wouldn’t it be nice to have him hitting in the lineup when Johnny Cueto pitches? Point being, Mesoraco has been too productive on an offensively challenged team to sit 2-3 times a week. Why not left field?
To me, there are three major reasons why this move makes sense.
1. Brayan Pena
– Pena this season has been nothing short of a Godsend. He has been able to play very sound defense at catcher and first base. He has hit well for someone that was brought in as a back-up catcher, and he brings an enthusiastic spark to a team that has been criticized dating well back into the Dusty Baker era for not having one. He gives you the flexibility to play Mesoraco in another position on an everyday basis, or while Votto is out.
2. Left Field Situation
– Who do the Reds currently have in left field? Ryan Ludwick, who makes a ton of money, is running out of time on his contract, has not been productive, and is old. Left field is typically a place where teams put a solid bat, that isn’t a terrific defensive player (because the National League does not want a DH). So with as unproductive as left field has been this season, why not give him a shot?
3. Saving Mesoraco’s Legs
– Let me know if this sounds familiar: Baseball team has a good player. Good player is a catcher. But, said team wants to save players legs so they move him to a less stressful position. If it doesn’t, I will clue you in. Craig Biggio. Not saying that Mesoraco will be as a good as Biggio (even though I hope he is), but this kind of thing has happened before. Mesoraco has already shown that he is injury prone (back, and legs), so why not move him out where this is less stress on the back and legs?
Overall this moves makes sense. You save Mesoraco’s health. You keep a decent bat at catcher, then as long as Joey Votto decides if he wants to drive in runs or get on base, you will have an offensive game plan. If the idea is to score, and on every fifth day, you take out your best player (currently), why not alter a line up so you can keep him as long as possible?