One of the underrated stories of Cincinnati Reds camp, is their catching situation. Right now, the Reds have three catchers in Devin Mesoraco, Ryan Hanigan and Miguel Olivo. The thing that created the logjam of sorts at the position was the curious signing of Olivo to a minor league deal. Now the question is what do they do?
The former first-round pick Mesoraco appeared in 54 games last season as Hanigan’s primary backup. He hit .212 with five homers and 14 RBI with a .288 OBP. There must be something there with Mesoraco that the team doesn’t like. I don’t think Olivo would accept a minor league assignment if it got down to it. He’s a nice veteran to have, however, to me I’d take Mesoraco.
Olivo walked seven times in 323 plate appearances, which is mind boggling. He does still have some pop though with his 12 home runs. He still has a pretty good throwing arm, however, he had eight passed balls last year. He also had a WAR of .4 last season, so he was barely above replacement level.
Hanigan is clearly the starter at the age of 32. He doesn’t provide a ton of pop, but he set career highs in doubles and walks this past season. He’s never going to be a superstar, but he’s a decent catcher and someone that you can use on a winning team.
These things tend to work themselves out during camp. If Olivo doesn’t pan out, they don’t have to keep him. That’s the nice part about minor league spring deals. I expect Hanigan and Mesoraco to be the catchers for the Reds in 2013.