The Cincinnati Reds are in need of a cleanup hitter. With Joey Votto out, Jay Bruce on the DL and the cleanup hitters for the past two years – Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips – apparently no longer under consideration for the job, the Reds need a better option than Todd Frazier, who has shown some promise but ultimately not enough production.
It may be as plain as the nose on a face for most Reds fans, but why not try Devin Mesoraco, who has picked up right where he left off since his return from the DL by absolutely crushing the ball?
Perhaps a memo from upper management may have circulated to Reds’ first-year manager Bryan Price that Mesoraco is zombie unconscious at the plate, hitting an even .500 with a monstrous OPS of 1.411 that includes four home runs and 17 RBIs.
Maybe the players, or at least the starting rotation, have taken the initiative to suggest to Price that a lineup card with Mesoraco as the cleanup hitter could actually help the Reds score more runs than the other team more often than not, which would translate into more wins than losses — something the Reds just don’t seem to be able to do enough.
The just-finished three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies saw the first time that Mesoraco has batted higher than seventh this year despite his eruption at the plate so far in 2104. The Reds’ primary catcher batted in the fifth spot twice during the series and had five hits in seven at-bats, including two doubles and a three-run blast.
Maye Price is warming up to the idea of batting Mesoraco cleanup, just as it’s becoming clear that Frazier may help the Reds more lower in the order, if the team is going to survive the first two months of the season intact enough to make any kind of a run at another NL Central title.