Yesterday, the Reds placed former All Star catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 15 day disabled list with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, interrupting his comeback season. He will be out indefinitely, as he and the Reds will decide soon whether surgery is the best option for the 28 year old. Mesoraco exploded in 2014, hitting .273/.359/.534 with 25 homers while starting 104 games behind the plate. He was worth almost five wins above replacement that summer, and the Reds signed him to a four-year, $28 million extension that bought out his first free agent year.
Everything since then has been a nightmare, however. Last year, Mesoraco got off to a poor start, hitting .095 through his first six games, before the Reds announced that he was suffering from a hip impingement. Told he couldn't catch without surgery, the Reds tried to keep him around as a pinch hitter and DH only, and talked about putting him in left field (which never happened). They put off the disabled list for more than a month, essentially playing a man short. Nothing worked, so they shut him down and let him go under the knife. If he had gotten surgery in April, he could potentially have returned by late August; instead, he sat out the rest of the year.
He was supposed to come back strong in 2016, but Mesoraco has flopped out of the gate again, hitting .140/.218/.160 in 55 plate appearances. He has not homered since September of 2014. Presumably, part of the problem this year was his shoulder. Hopefully, the Reds learned from last summer's debacle, and won't prolong the waiting period this time if their delicate catcher requires more surgery. In the meantime, Tucker Barnhart will start behind the plate, and Ramon Cabrera has been recalled from Louisville.
I've got to hand it to the Cincinnati Reds. If I had had their season so far, I would have packed it in for the rest of the summer. Hit the road. Do some traveling. See some landmarks or something. But no, even at 10-16, they're still out there every night. And good for them, because the rest of the season just got a lot harder.