3:24pm: It appears Mesoraco has dodged a major injury, as multiple people have told Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer that his latest shoulder issue is neither serious nor related to last year’s surgery (Twitter links).
3:19pm: The Reds have placed catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain. His roster spot will go to right-hander Ariel Hernandez, whom the Reds recalled from Triple-A Louisville.
At 36-47, the Reds are well out of the playoff hunt, meaning Mesoraco’s loss isn’t a blow to their chances to contend. The injury itself could be worrisome, though, considering Mesoraco missed nearly all of last season with a torn labrum in the same shoulder. Mesoraco had surgery on that shoulder in May 2016, ending his season, and then underwent a procedure on his hip in July. As a result, he didn’t debut this year until the end of April.
Mesoraco missed most of the 2015 campaign with hip problems, so the 129 plate appearances the offense-first backstop has racked up this year are already more than the 106 he combined for from 2015-16. Prior to landing on the DL, the 29-year-old was in the midst of an encouraging season, as he has slashed a solid .234/.333/.459 with six home runs.
Now, with over $3MM left on his contract this year and another $13MM on the way in 2018, the Reds are left to hope Mesoraco hasn’t suffered yet another serious injury. In the meantime, they’ll turn to Tucker Barnhart and Stuart Turner as their top two catchers.