JUNE 20: The Reds have announced that Mesoraco will have surgery June 29. The surgery appears likely to end his season. Since the news that Mesoraco would likely need surgery, he made a handful of appearances as a pinch-hitter and DH. He has not, however, appeared in a game since May 20. He has hit .178/.275/.244 in 51 plate appearances this season.
MAY 5: Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has acknowledged that his hip injury will likely require surgery that will sideline him for up to four months, reports MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon (via Twitter). For the time being, Mesoraco is trying to exhaust all possible alternative treatments before undergoing an operation, according to Sheldon.
The 26-year-old Mesoraco has taken just 28 trips to the plate this season and hasn’t started a game since April 11. Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart have handled the bulk of the catching duties in his stead, although the Reds curiously have not placed Mesoraco on the disabled list despite the fact that he has made just six pinch-hitting appearances since his last start.
Mesoraco inked a four-year, $28MM contract extension with Cincinnati this offseason on the heels of a breakout 2014 campaign in which he batted an excellent .273/.359/.534 with with 25 home runs in 114 games/440 plate appearances. Mesoraco’s ability to recreate that outstanding production — valued at 4.5 fWAR and 4.8 rWAR — was considered by many to be a key component as to whether or not the Reds would be able to compete in the NL Central this season. While Cincinnati sits in third place at 12-13, the potential loss of a star-caliber catcher certainly dampens their chances of staying afloat in a highly competitive division. Many pegged the Reds as eventual sellers even when assuming that Mesoraco would be healthy. One would imagine that if Cincinnati does end up looking toward the future come July, names like Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, each of whom is in his final year of club control, would be among the most desirable assets on the trade market.