In an effort to salvage some production from what would otherwise be a season lost to hip surgery, the Reds will try to work out injured catcher Devin Mesoraco in the outfield, reports C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Manager Bryan Price said that the move is not a permanent one, and he’s been assured that the risks of delaying what appears to be inevitable surgery to relieve an impingement in Mesoraco’s hip are not significant. According to Price, doctors have said the Mesoraco can undergo the surgery this offseason and still expect to be ready for Opening Day 2016. “He’s on board,” said Price of Mesoraco. “He’s a huge part of it and I do believe that he’s seen a guy in New York as well that did a followup on his MRI results and test results. So we’re trying to make sure all the bases are covered that if we’re going to do something like this, that we’re doing it with enough time to make sure he’s ready to go on Opening Day 2016 behind the plate.” Price added that Mesoraco will not return to the club as only a pinch-hitter, so if he’s unable to work in the outfield, the timetable for surgery could be accelerated.
Here’s more from baseball’s Central divisions…
- Minor surgery on the ailing right ankle of Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco cannot be ruled out, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Nolasco underwent three-plus days of “aggressive” treatment on the injured joint, but Thursday’s bullpen session had to be cut short after eight to 10 pitches. Nolasco, who has been placed on the disabled list, told reporters: “It was still killing me. I can’t risk throwing with no lower body. I just got my elbow right for the first time in a long time. I can’t go out there and risk blowing that out or something.” Clearly, the four-year, $49MM contract given to Nolasco has not paid dividends for the Twins so far, but his work after apparently getting his elbow on track was encouraging. In 29 2/3 innings between his DL stints, Nolasco pitched to a 4.25 ERA with a 26-to-6 K/BB ratio. His ERA likely would’ve been lower had he not been plagued by a bloated .385 BABIP in that time.
- The Indians have four of the rarest and most valuable commodities in baseball, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. In Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer, Cleveland has four young, controllable, hard-throwing strikeout pitchers that can be built around for the foreseeable future. Passan’s article is a fascinating piece that examines Cleveland’s use of weighted-ball programs throughout the organization as one of multiple different ways to develop pitching. Bauer spoke to Passan about how exciting it is to be with an organization that is dedicated to and open-minded about finding new ways to develop pitching. “They actually believe you can develop players and that they don’t just develop by pitching in games and getting more reps,” said Bauer. “You can actually increase the development process. They’re always open and looking for new strategies, differing technologies, instead of shunning new ideas because that’s not how they did it 20 years ago.”
- Ryan Braun is away from the Brewers to undergo a second cryotherapy session on his right thumb, writes Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Braun first experimented with this treatment, which uses a needle to introduce sub-zero temperatures to a troublesome nerve in the digit, last October, and he feels it helps get his hand back to 100 percent, per manager Craig Counsell. “And if we can keep him at close to 100 percent then we get the great Ryan Braun for 150 games,” said Counsell. “It apparently has a shelf life, I guess you could say, and we’re kind of getting up on that shelf life.” Brewers head athletic trainer Dan Wright says that the procedure will be effective for three to four months, but Braun may have to continue to go in for these sessions for the rest of his career, so long as it remains effective. Braun is expected to rejoin the team during its weekend series with the Twins.