CINCINNATI — Devin Mesoraco was on the disabled list the minimum 10 days and that’s a huge plus for the Cincinnati Reds catcher. Usually he spends enough time on the DL to claim squatter’s rights.
But after playing two rehab games at Class AAA Louisville to prove his shoulder is OK, Mesoraco was activated before Tuesday’s game. He wasn’t in the lineup but probably makes his playing return Thursday afternoon.
“I felt fine in those two games, felt normal,” said Mesoraco. “I had no issues at all. The shoulder deal wasn’t a big issue. I just needed some time to let it calm down and get back out there.”
OF THE TEAM’S CURRENT playing field issues, Mesoraco said, “Nobody wants to lose five straight coming out of the All-Star break. Those things happen. Let’s just see if we can get on a little roll here. We played good right before the break (8-5) and these last five haven’t gone so well. I’m excited to get back out there and help in any way I can.”
Manager Bryan Price said Mesoraco was available to pinch-hit and that Tuesday was a scheduled day off for him after playing two games in Louisville. Price also indicated that Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart will continue to share behind-the-plate duties.
“It’s the best DL stint we’ve had with Mez because it was short,” said Price.
TRADE TALK DOMINATED the pre-game conversation in Price’s office. No, it didn’t involve anything the Reds did. The talk was about J.D. Martinez, Todd Frazier and J.J. Hoover.
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired right fielder J.D. Martinez Tuesday from the Detroit Tigers and dropped him immediately into the No. 5 spot in their batting order for Wednesday’s game.
“Getting J.D. Martinez will give them a bump,” said Price. “I was looking at his numbers, what he has done historically against left handers, and it is spectacular. I’m indifferent as to what their club needs, but they just got a really good player. They already have a nice club with athleticism, power and speed. They just added another big slugger into their lineup.”
PRICE WATCHED PITCHER Homer Bailey do his between starts bullpen work and bumped into Arizona relief pitcher J.J. Hoover in the outfield. They carried on about a 20-minute conversation.
Remember J.J. Hoover? He was a spectacular relief pitcher for the Reds in 2012, 2013 and 2015, but struggled in 2014 and 2016 and he needed ear plugs when he pitched to drown out the sounds of wood mashing baseballs and boos from the stands.
Hoover is with the Diamondbacks and pitched a 1-2-3 inning against the Reds Tuesday. He has made 32 appearances this year and is 1-and-0 with a 3.86 earned run average and given up one home run in 25 2/3 innings.
“He had a great impact for us on the 2012 and 2013 teams,” said Price. “He was a huge piece of those really good bullpens. You always pull for your old guys who you respect and admire.
“He was a guy of high character that was driven and motivated,” Price added. “He is a guy who even when he wasn’t perfomring was such a high character kid, a hard-worker who cared so much, that we’ll always pull for him. And right now he is in a good place.”
FORMER REDS FAN FAVORITE Todd Frazier was traded by the Chicago White Sox to the New York Yankees and he will be able to perform close to his Toms River, N.J. home.
“It’s good for Todd in that he gets to leave a team that is in similar position as our club,” said Price. “We and the White Sox have very similar records and they are starting to sell off some of their players.
“It’s a great opportunity for Todd to be in New York and closer to home and to be on a team pushing for a playoff spot,” said Price. “There is no negative for Todd. He loves these kinds of opportunities because he is a prime time guy. With a winning team he will thrive in this environment.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
There are no free passes, you just have to grind through it, and you know it is going to turn. But when you are in it (a five-game losing streak) it is a challenge. You love to come to the ballpark when you are winning and everything is going great. It is tougher to come to the ballpark, not because you are losing, but to anticipate victory.” — Reds manager Bryan Price.