Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco started the 2014 season on the disabled list, but the fourth-year catcher has more than made up for lost time with a red-hot start to his season.
Mesoraco’s start has been so good that it is historic from a franchise perspective. His 10-game hitting streak to start the season has tied Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi for the most by a Reds catcher with at least one at-bat or sacrifice fly in a game. Lombardi held the hot-start streak since 1932, which was the first full year for the former Reds great.
The start for Mesoraco hasn’t just been a hitting streak, though. It has been a scorching one. In his first 10 games, Mesoraco has produced an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of a whopping 1.517, which puts him well above the top qualifier in baseball for OPS, Troy Tulowitkzi, at 1.131.
Mesoraco is hitting at a ridiculous .541 clip with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle ignored the hot start by Mesoraco Monday night when he intentionally walked the batter ahead of him — Ryan Ludwick — in the eighth inning to load the bases. Mesoraco ripped an RBI single to left field but actually hit the ball too hard, because Reds’ base-runner Jay Bruce was thrown out at plate trying to score from second.
Mesoraco needed the hot start to establish himself as the Reds’ primary catcher, which he became when the Reds traded longtime platoon catcher Ryan Hanigan in the offseason.
If Mesoraco continues his tear, manager Bryan Price nay have no choice but to move Mesoraco up in the batting order from the seventh spot where he has hit all but one game so far this year to maybe even as high as cleanup.