Cincinnati Reds wait to see if Devin Mesoraco will be ready to catch

Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports /

After a long off-season, the Cincinnati Reds are waiting to see whether or not Devin Mesoraco is ready to catch.

The Cincinnati Reds want Devin Mesoraco to be their everyday catcher.  Mesoraco wants to be their everyday catcher and has told us as much.  The question is whether his body will co-operate or not.

Four games and seven at-bats into the spring, Mesoraco has two hits and no walks.  One of his hits was a double and the other was a single.  For an offensive catcher this isn’t very offensive.

So far this spring Mesoraco has caught a total of 13 innings, including when one of his throws struck pitcher Bronson Arroyo in the face.  The Reds had nearly an entire year to get Mesoraco ready for game situations and he still looks extremely rusty.  Between he and Rookie Davis, the diamond is not a safe place to be.

Last spring, Mesoraco only caught 37 innings over 7 games.  He is only slightly ahead of that trend now.  The Reds need to get him into more games to get him ready.

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Last spring Mesoraco also got 17 at-bats, batting .412.  He even hit two home runs, but he was never really healthy enough to play everyday.  The Reds need to make sure that doesn’t happen again in 2017.

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The Cincinnati Reds need to reconsider how many catchers to carry on their roster, if Devin Mesoraco is healthy.

None of the Reds’ current options behind the plate is a true full-time catcher.  Tucker Barnhart wears down after 100 games, Stephen Turner has never played above Double-A and Mesoraco hasn’t even caught a nine inning game yet.  It will take both Barnhart and Turner to successfully back-up Mesoraco.

That isn’t too bad of a situation.  Barnhart may not be the most explosive hitter, but he gets on base and is a switch hitter.  Mesoraco, meanwhile, is good as a pinch hitter for one plate appearance on the days he doesn’t start.  That makes Turner mostly a defensive back-up and only occasional starter.

With the uncertain future it may make sense to let Mesoraco start two games every time through the pitching rotation, Barnhart start two and Turner start one.  That way the pitchers know who is going to be working with them and the catchers get plenty of rest.  If Mesoraco isn’t ready to go, Barnhart and Turner can hold down the position short term.

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This is really a make or break year for Mesoraco.  He was an All-Star catcher, but injuries have brought him back down.  He needs to show himself as an MLB level catcher again before the game leaves him behind.