As I reported earlier today, Joey Votto was the latest member of the Cincinnati Reds scheduled to miss time due to an injury. Despite the onslaught of bad news that has seemed to follow the Reds this year, the team did receive a bit of good news as Devin Mesoraco was reinstated from the disabled list.
Additionally, starting pitcher Tony Cingrani will be returning to the Reds’ rotation on Sunday May 18 in Philadelphia. For the Reds, it’s the first bit of good news they have received since Aroldis Chapman returned from his injury.
Assuming Votto is placed in the DL, it will be interesting to see what corresponding transaction the Reds will choose to make. It wouldn’t be a surprise to keep both Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart with the team in addition to Mesoraco. With Votto out, the Reds could use Pena’s bat in the lineup; and with Pena playing first base for the Reds in Philadelphia Friday night, it makes sense to use him as an everyday option.
The return of Mesoraco means the addition of the most consistent bat the Reds have had all season long — and the hottest bat in the majors when he was healthy. In 47 at bats over 13 games so far in 2014, Mesoraco is batting .468 with a . 509 on base percentage, .787 slugging percentage, three home runs, 13 runs batted in, six doubles, 22 hits and 10 runs. The Reds are 7-6 in games that Mesoraco has appeared in during the 2014 season.
Cingrani brings a sense of stability back to the Reds’ rotation. At 2-2 on the season with a 3.34 ERA, Cingrani brings a powerful left-handed arm back to a group featuring mostly right-handers. Cingrani, arguably the best fifth starter in all of baseball, gives Bryan Price the ability to stay away from his staff’s Achilles’ heel — middle relief.
It will take a lot for the Reds to weather the 2014 injury storm, but the return of Mesoraco and Cingrani is a big first step.