Bats Rack: Mesoraco Interview

Devin Mesoraco was kind enough to join me for a 6 minute converstation that covered everything from catching an 18 inning marathon to hitting a walk off grand slam in his first game with the Bats. Here’s the Q & A:

Blog Red Machine: Grade your season for me so far.

Devin Mesoraco: I think I’m happy with the way I’ve been playing. I think we’re about to get on a good run here. I don’t know, I’m not too good with letter grades, I’m just happy with the way things have went this far.

BRM: You’re having such a good season you started in the Triple A All Star Game and in the Futures Game. What was that whole experience like?

Meso: It was awesome. I think the Futures game was cool just to be playing in a big league stadium with a pretty good crowd. Some of the guys who were onhand at the game like Piazza and Luis Gonzalez. It was fun just to be around those guys. The All Star Game was also a lot of fun because you play against guys all year and you don’t really know them, but it was cool just to hang out with some of the guys and meet some of the guys from the different teams.

BRM: Let’s go back to August 8 of last season. Your first game with the Bats, you come up in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, one out, down by 2. You end up hitting a walk off grand slam. Take me though that at bat, what was going through your mind?

Meso: I was just trying to drive the ball to the outfield and get a sac fly or something like that. The pitcher left one up and away and I put a good swing on it. I think the wind was blowing out pretty good hard right, so I got a little lucky there but, it was awesome; first game and to help the team win it was a great experience.

BRM: And a walk-off grand slam, what kind of feeling is that like?

Meso: It was definitely cool. I had a couple of walk off homers earlier in the year, too. Anytime you can hit a walk off home run it’s pretty cool.

BRM: You’ve kept up with the clutch hitting this year; you’re batting .347 with RISP. What’s been key to that success?

Meso: I think it’s just getting a good pitch to hit. With guys in scoring position, pitchers will attack you a little different. For me, it’s just being patient and getting a pitch that I can put a good swing on.

BRM: Defensively, you’re still improving. How much easier is it on you having Corky Miller and Rick Sweet to help you along the way?

Meso: Yeah, they definitely help out. I think fundamentally I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. It’s more of just pitch selection and trying to have the pitchers be comefortable with you. That’s about it, you know, I’m pretty happy with the way things have went defensively so far.

BRM: You’ve caught 68 games this season. One of them was an 18 inning marathon game up in Rochester. Were the legs getting a little weary?

Meso: It was a long game. It was still pretty early in the year so I was fine, you know. I wasn’t dragging or anything, it was more mentally draining than anything. I don’t think I got a hit that day either (0-4); so, it was little tough but it wasn’t bad.

BRM: Go from a marathon game to last night. You were behind the plate for Edinson Volquez, who threw a complete game, only giving up 2 runs. What’s it like catching a pitcher who was as on as he was last night?

Meso: It was great. That’s the Volquez everybody expects to see day in and day out. He was throwing a lot of strikes, mixing his pitches and throwing all three for strikes. Whenever you have a guy like that, it’s a lot of fun to catch just because you can pretty much put down anything and you know he’s gonna make a good quality pitch.

BRM: Let’s talk about his team for a minute. The Achilles heel for you guys all season has been committing errors. Is there any one thing you can point to that explains the error problem?

Meso: I don’t know, sometimes we have our lapses like any other team. I think here down the stretch things will start to click in August and we’ll get on a good roll.

BRM: You guys go into play today 11.5 GB in the division, which is about where you were at this point last season. Does the comeback from last season play in your mind at all now?

Meso: It just proves that you’re never really out it. There’s a lot of turnover but there’s still a good core of the team together from last year that went on that run and I think that just proves that at any point we could go off on a real good streak here and hopefully get up close there to Columbus.

BRM: Trade deadline is fast approaching. Some think you’ll be called up, some think you’ll be traded, some think you’ll still be in Louisville. How much do you think about that stuff?

Meso: I don’t worry about that at all. I try to control what I can control and everything else will take it’s course. I’m just going out there and doing the best I can day in and day out on the field and all that other stuff will happen. I’ll be where I need to be at the end of the day.

BRM: Our final question comes from BRM reader Sharon Marmon who wants to know who your biggest baseball influences were growing up.

Meso: Definitely my father. He played college baseball and was a coach back home. He really taught me everything I know about the game. He worked out with me every single day so it was definitely him.

To listen to the audio from this interview, click here.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @kevingeary10 and BRM @blogredmachine.