Mesoraco will catch on slowly with Reds, by design

The Sports Xchange
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Devin Mesoraco is going to be eased into his major league career. Mesoraco, the 23-year-old catcher, did not play Thursday in the Reds' 6-4 loss to the Phillies after being called up from Triple-A Louisville.

That's the plan for the next few days.

"First couple of days, we'll have him catch some bullpens," manager Dusty Baker said. "There are some guys he hasn't caught and some guys he hasn't caught in a long time. He'll be in the bullpen catching, learning, making sure he knows all our signs, making sure he knows all the little things.

"Much like when Buster Posey (of the San Francisco Giants) came up last year. He didn't just jump right in the lineup. He eventually took over. Right now, (Mesoraco's) got to get comfortable. I told him to have his ears open and his eyes alert and ask as many questions as you can ask in the short period of time."

Mesoraco is OK with the slow approach.

"I'm up here to learn," he said. "Whenever they call my number, I'll be ready."

Mesoraco hit a combined .302 with 26 home runs and 75 RBI at three minor league stops last year. It was his first sustained success at the plate in four years in the system.

He backed it by hitting .289 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI at Triple-A this year.

"This year at Triple-A, there were some adjustments that needed to be made as far as strike zone-wise, swinging at good pitches," he said. "As the year progressed, it got better and better. I was able to build on what I did last year. It carried over."

Mesoraco also learned a lot about the defensive side from Louisville manager Rick Sweet, a former big-league catcher, and veteran catcher Corky Miller.

"(Working with the pitchers) was my main thing I wanted to work on," Mesoraco said. "For me, being down there with Corky and Sweetie was a blessing, two guys who had been around the game so long. Any type of situation I was in, they'd been there before. It was good to have those two guys."

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