2013 Reds

Devin Mesoraco Makes Team; J.J. Hoover Waiting

The Reds announced yesterday that Devin Mesoraco has made the Opening Day roster, while Miguel Olivo has been offered an opportunity to remain with the organization in Louisville.

Tuesday was the deadline for the Reds to either place non-roster invite Miguel Olivo on the big league roster or offer him a $100,000 retention bonus to report to Triple-A Louisville. The club offered the bonus and Olivo is still mulling his options before deciding.

“I would hate to see him go,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Sometimes, contractual things supersede, sort of preclude what you want to do.”

There was a little hubbub over Baker’s quote in the comment section yesterday. I could be wrong, and I am wrong more often than I am right, but it reads to me that Baker’s quote was only with respect to Olivo’s role in the organization, not who he prefers as the #2 behind Ryan Hanigan.

In the same article, Mark Sheldon reports that J.J. Hoover is still waiting for a decision on where he will begin his season.

“Oh yeah, it’s just the unknown,” Hoover said of waiting to see if he makes the 25-man roster. “I’m prepared for anything. I’m prepared for whatever decision happens. But, it would be nice to get a decision soon.”

“I’ve done everything I can performance-wise up to this point,” Hoover said. “I feel confident with what I’ve done. I understand the business side of things. I’ll take the chips where they fall.”

The Reds decision appears to be boiling down to five relievers competing for 3 spots. Chapman, Broxton, Marshall, and LeCure are locks. That leaves Jose Arredondo, Logan Ondrusek, Alfredo Simon, Manny Parra, and J.J. Hoover for the final bullpen roles.

There is conflicting information from the Reds beat writers about who has options left. Some reports indicate that only Hoover has options. It appears to me that both Hoover and Ondrusek have options remaining.

Ondrusek was optioned to the minors in both 2010 and 2012. Prior to the 2009 season, he was left off the 40-man roster and exposed to the Rule V draft. He passed through waivers, cleared the draft and was outrighted to the Reds high-A club – that didn’t require an option. In 2011, he spent the entire year on the major league roster. That would mean Ondrusek has a 3rd option year still remaining. I think that makes the Reds decision a little easier.

Dusty Baker’s comments from earlier this week indicate that Alfredo Simon might be the one on the bubble. He participated in the WBC and pitched very little. Simon threw 2 innings last night, surrending 3 hits, a walk, and the Cubs only run.

I believe that Hoover is the best reliever of the five. However, Jocketty showed a willingness to sacrifice talent on the 25-man roster for depth when he optioned Todd Frazier to AAA last year. Don’t be surprised if the same thing happens this year to Hoover.

69 thoughts on “Devin Mesoraco Makes Team; J.J. Hoover Waiting

  1. You think the players notice Dusty isn’t going to the media about “it’s time to make a decision so people know what they are doing” for anybody else but Chapman?

    As far as his comments on Olivo, I can see where people are coming from with thoughts about slighting Meso. It sure would have been nice to have him throw the kid a bone and recognize he played his cleats off this spring. Ultimately, I think I side with Greg… I’m not certain Dusty wan’t just talking about the fact Olivo might leave the organization entirely, and he’d like to have him as his back-up in the minors.

    • @Matt WI: I agree with you and Greg.

      Other than Dusty’s apparent dislike for Mes, we don’t really need have any context surrounding Dusty’s responses. We don’t really know how the question was phrased to him. I like all the Reds’ media guys (Fay, Sheldon, C. Trent), but they sometimes have their own agenda in stirring up controversy. We know Dusty is very loyal to players and will defend them, almost to a fault.

      Let’s not read too much into what was probably very innocent comments. I’ll focus on the positive-the praise for Devin.

  2. When I first read the Dusty comment, I thought that they might as well trade Mes now because he’s never going to get out of Dusty’s doghouse. However, on a second reading the key word in that quote is “would” – I think that makes the quote much more about a hope that Olivo stays in the organization rather than yet another instance of Dusty running to the media when Jocketty makes a decision that displeases him.

    As far as JJ Hoover in concerned, is there any chance of him becoming a starter? If so, I could see him being moved down to Louisville to work on that. Otherwise, the kid needs to be with the club. He’s earned it both by his performance his attitude last year and this spring. He’s a class act in my book.

  3. Based on last year it sure seemed like Baker had some issue with Meso. Not sure if his comment meant anything but I can see how fans could interpret it as a slight.

  4. Sometimes I think much of RLN has Dusty Derangement Syndrome and comes up with bizarre interpretations of what Dusty actually said. Dusty apparently wants Olivo to take the payment and stay with the Reds at AAA. He and Jockety and others had trouble last year with Meso’s maturity and production last year. Dusty said, essentially, that Meso earned his spot this year and that Meso this season should have a more professional and mature approach. Absent DDS, I’m not sure why that comment would cause any hand-wringing.

    I had a big eye-opener a few years ago after having dinner at spring training with some management guys in another, unnamed organization. The conversation turned to a catcher and a pitcher, and it was entirely about make-up, work ethic and competitiveness, and not about number-crunching. which they understood fully. Catcher X had a lousy work ethic and his pitching staff knew it; Pitcher B had no confidence. Their Fangraphs or whatever projections were not going to be met because of human factors. Ultimately, neither player has had nearly the career that they were projected to have.

    I defer to the guys on the ground on these types of human factors. We aren’t there; they are. The Reds’ management was exasperated with Meso last year, and they likely had a good reason. He’s a year older and wiser, and has apparently turned the corner.

  5. In Mesoraco vs Olivo it seems like one got a big league job, the other got some kind departing words, and I’m surprised how some people seem to think that Olivo got the better part of that.

    The Reds made an announcement regarding he-who-must-not-be-named vs Leake in time to give Leake two final starts in which he could get stretched out more. The announcement with Olivo was made the day the Reds were required to offer him a $100,000 bonus – the very last minute – and he was the last eligible guy reported on by MLB Trade Rumors. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bullpen also came down to a last minute decision when they’re packing up to return to Cincinnati.

    It sounded like Alfredo Simon did alright (but not particularly well) last night, I’d been wondering if he’d be ready. It seems like he will be.

    I still expect Hoover, Simon, and Arredondo to start the season with the Reds, Manny Parra to be traded or claimed off waivers, and Ondrusek to be optioned. It’s nice of the Reds to keep things interesting.

  6. I’m glad that Meso is going to be on the opening day roster for the second straight year. It’s clear he has the potential to be our right handed bat in the 4 hole some day. The real question now is, will Dusty find a way to give him more at bats this season? No knock on Hanigan, he is a very underrated catcher, however, Mesoraco has a chance to hit 20 bombs and drive in some runs as a number one catcher.

    • @CharlotteReds: I don’t envy Dusty because there’s no way to correctly manage time between Mesoraco and Hanigan. Playing time to Mesoraco can be perceived as a knock on Hanigan, playing time for Hanigan can be perceived as favoring veterans. Tough situation to manage in a non-controversial way. That’s why Dusty gets paid the big bucks, I guess.

  7. I’m probably one of those with DDS, but I find it interesting when someone says that our views of Dusty are deranged, but yet they say that Baker/Jocketty/others had a problem last year with Mesoraco’s “maturity”. (His production, EVERYONE had a problem with, but I claim sample size.) (And I’m not just talking about Big Ed…this has come up before.)

    Please show exactly where the team (GM/Baker/ETC) have said they had a problem with his maturity, work ethic, etc? I don’t remember ever reading it, other than in our comments.

    • @Bill Lack:
      The story in question quoted Dusty: “You hope he’s gotten to the point where he’s mature enough where he realizes it’s only a bad game and then you forget about it and don’t dwell on it.” And let’s face it, they demoted Meso right after the ump-bumping incident, and didn’t play him much in September, so it’s not a stretch–and again, we aren’t there–to assume that management had some professionalism issues with him. Dusty sure isn’t going to air the particulars in public, but he and Jockety clearly weren’t happy with him at the end of last year, and Meso seems to have learned from it.

      Look, a whole lot of young people in any job or profession, from engineering to truck driving, have to learn what is expected of them. I was a better worker at 29 than I was at 24. Homer wasn’t mentally ready when he got brought up, but I love his make-up now. Meso is likely going to be a very good catcher, and he seems to have turned the corner. And the Reds need him to be productive.

      • @Big Ed: I agree with all of that, but I simply don’t get why a players’ manager would air the maturity issue in public. It’s probably true, but couldn’t it just be handled in the clubhouse?

        • @Big Ed: I agree with all of that, but I simply don’t get why a players’ manager would air the maturity issue in public. It’s probably true, but couldn’t it just be handled in the clubhouse?

          Exactly. Where is the support of a players’ manager? Where is his confidence in Devin? He showed more support and confidence in Olivo, and he isn’t even going to be on the team, probably not even in the organization. I would prefer Olivo to not even be in the organization. We have Corky for veteran leadership in AAA at catcher. The other position down there can be for the up-n-coming catchers.

        • @steveschoen: He was interviewed about Miguel Olivo being cut from the roster and the interview focused on Olivo, fair enough.

          Clearly Dusty and Jocketty have a different view of Miguel Olivo’s value. Who is the other candidate to join Corky Miller in AAA – Nevin Ashley? Ehhh. It would be nice if there was an up-and-coming catcher but Tucker Barnhart isn’t ready for AAA yet.

        • @steveschoen: He was interviewed about Miguel Olivo being cut from the roster and the interview focused on Olivo, fair enough.Clearly Dusty and Jocketty have a different view of Miguel Olivo’s value. Who is the other candidate to join Corky Miller in AAA – Nevin Ashley? Ehhh. It would be nice if there was an up-and-coming catcher but Tucker Barnhart isn’t ready for AAA yet.

          What’s fair about it? If the interview was about Olivo, keep it there. Baker took it to Devin wrongfully.

        • @steveschoen: Again, it was an interview about Miguel Olivo that discussed Miguel Olivo. ‘Fair enough’ is an expression – if the news story is about Olivo getting cut I’m fine with Olivo being the topic.

          “It’s not like Mesoraco didn’t earn it… he did play well”. Baker took it to Devin wrongfully? Nah, I think you just drastically over-analyzed.

        • @redsfanman: Way to cut off the quote there where convenient for you, and way to state unequivocally that Dusty and Jocketty don’t agree on Olivo. And you know this…how?

      • @Big Ed: I love that you’re saying “it’s reasonable to assume” that the entire organization felt a certain way about a guy — based on absolutely no public statements or evidence.

        Yet if you interpret Dusty’s ambiguous statements in anything but the most generous way, you have a mental illness.

        Some people love them some authority figures.

  8. As @Kyle Farmer: mentioned above, I will gladly step up and acknowledge that I misread/misinterpreted Dusty’s quote. I believe Greg has it right. I do still take exception to Dusty’s comparative response in this situation to the veteran and prior associate, Olivo, and the young player, Mesoraco. Dusty went out of his way to praise Olivo, even to the point of anguishing over Olivo’s possible decision to seek other opportunities, then he offers up a very backhanded compliment for Mesoraco.

  9. This is the full context of his quote regarding Mes in that same atricle:
    Tuesday’s development signals that Mesoraco earned his place on the 25-man roster. He entered the night batting .361 and has been making solid contact all spring.

    “It’s not like Mesoraco didn’t earn it,” Baker said. “He did play well. [Monday], he had a bad game, but other than that, he’s been great. You hope he’s gotten to the point where he’s mature enough where he realizes it’s only a bad game and then you forget about it and don’t dwell on it.”

    I think sometimes we forget you need to have a pretty large white noise filter when it comes to some of Dusty’s comments. I think sometimes he’s just filling dead air and doesn’t mean anything. On the other hand, you’d think he’d be better at this by now… and maybe that’s why he bristles when he gets asked *real* questions.

    • @Matt WI: So in this case, I think Dusty might literally be referring to the bad game on Monday, and just kept running his mouth. He wasn’t necessarily referring to larger maturity issues. Just a throw away cliche “forget about the bad games, play tomorrow.”

      • @Matt WI: Dusty made that type of comment on his pregame show the other day, and from what I heard, it actually sounded complimentary of Meso from how well he played this spring, and how he had a bad game Monday but was able to shake it off. In previous times, that bad game would have lingered, etc.

        He did say something to the effect he would have liked Olivo to stick around, I don’t know his exact words, but he just said he and Olivo went back a ways. Just didn’t sound like it was anti-Meso, though.

    • This is the full context of his quote regarding Mes in that same atricle:Tuesday’s development signals that Mesoraco earned his place on the 25-man roster. He entered the night batting .361 and has been making solid contact all spring.“It’s not like Mesoraco didn’t earn it,” Baker said. “He did play well. [Monday], he had a bad game, but other than that, he’s been great. You hope he’s gotten to the point where he’s mature enough where he realizes it’s only a bad game and then you forget about it and don’t dwell on it.”I think sometimes we forget you need to have a pretty large white noise filter when it comes to some of Dusty’s comments. I think sometimes he’s just filling dead air and doesn’t mean anything. On the other hand, you’d think he’d be better at this by now… and maybe that’s why he bristles when he gets asked *real* questions.

      The thing is, this is still coming from Baker. If it was a one-time occurance, I would have no problem with it. But, it comes up a couple to several times a season, whether in his quotes like this or in his managing like bunting Stubbs to second or playing Stubbs/Tavaras/Patterson/Gomes so much longer than he needed. It’s not like they started just recently, either. Baker made what was at-best a racial statement in Chicago when he was with the Cubs. It was a statement that, best to my recollection, was pretty much the same context that got Jimmy “The Greek” fired from CBS football presentations years ago.

      Myself, I’m getting tired of hearing about it. My first priority, I hope the Reds win a WS. If not that, I hope the Reds don’t extend Baker anymore. Going to the papers here twice when he didn’t get what he wanted from the front office? Bringing this up with Devin. Is it a wonder the guy has won only one NCLS and no WS? The only reason he’s won so many games has been his time in SF. He was the best friend and godfather (if I recall correctly) of two of the Giants most storied players. They aren’t going to let him go after just a couple of years. They were going to put money into bringing in the players. He couldn’t get it done there. The Cubs finished worse in the division each season he was there. Thank the Lord we’ve had GM’s like Walt and the previous 2 for putting this talent together we have in the organization. Now, only if we had a manager.

      • @steveschoen: I guess I don’t see this instance as Dusty “going to the papers.” He’s the mouthpiece most of the time by default. I think he got asked about one of the few rosters decisions that was left to make, and was trying to be as inclusive of Olivo as he could. He probably does like him a little too much. But I think if we don’t expect everything Dusty says to be gospel, it’s easier. I think managers in general, and Dusty in particular, just say words sometimes. I don’t particularly count on Dusty to be open and honest with every word thought and deed.

        What’s the alternative here?: “We knew Olivo couldn’t hit worth squat, but it was worth a look, and if someone gets hurt, we’ll, it never hurts to have somebody who has been there.”

        • got asked about one of the few rosters decisions that was left to make, and was trying to be as inclusive of Olivo as he could. He probably does like him a little too much. But I think if we don’t expect everything Dusty says to be gospel, it’s easier. I think managers in general, and Dusty in particular, just say words sometimes. I don’t particularly count on Dusty to be open and honest with every word thought and deed.
          What’s the alternative here?: “We knew Olivo couldn’t hit worth squat, but it was worth a look, and if someone gets hurt, we’ll, it never hurts to have somebody who has been there.”

          It would have been better than exposing a current team player like that.

  10. I think Dusty’s percieved long-standing predilection for crusty veterans over callow young-uns has generated this (over)reaction from some of us (myself included).

    I really don’t read too much into his comment about Mes. His bizarre sorrow that the great Olivo might slip through his hands sure sets off those alarm bells, though.

  11. Today’s lineup:

    Choo cf
    Phillips 2b
    Votto 1b
    Ludwick lf
    Mesoraco c
    Robinson rf
    Cozart ss
    Izturis 3b
    Leake p

    Could this be a makeup call by Dusty? Strut your stuff Meso!

  12. “I would hate to see him go,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Sometimes, contractual things supersede, sort of preclude what you want to do.”

    “You hope he’s gotten to the point — and he says he has — where he’s mature enough to realize it’s only a bad game and forget about it, then work on it, which he did yesterday.”

    With these comments about Olivo and Devin that Baker made the other day, for those who think this isn’t wrong of Baker, I have one question. Reverse the comments. If the numbers for ST were reversed, do you actually think Baker would say the first comment about Devin and the second about Olivo? Do you really think he would be saying the same thing if the first comment was about Frazier and the second about Rolen? If the first was about Heisey and the second about Gomes? It is more than obvious. Baker has his favorites. Having confidence in a player, supporting a player, being a players’ manager? Where’s the support for Devin? Baker is going to support who he wants and throw anyone else under the bus. He’s done it with the front office twice now. And, he just did it with Devin as far as I am concerned.

    • @steveschoen: To make it fair, you’d have to reverse everything about the situation: If Mes was a veteran of the league with whom Dusty had a prior relationship, he’d probably keep it the same. I certainly don’t disagree that Dusty seems to display favorites at times, but I just can’t see this one as Mesoraco getting thrown under any kind of bus. Dusty, in general, appears to be reluctant to give too much praise to youngsters before they’ve “earned it” old school style, put in their time. That’s who he is. But he rarely, rarely, goes to the media and singles out a player negatively. Now Bobby Valentine…. :)

      • @Matt WI:
        First, no you wouldn’t have to reverse everything, Matt. The entire idea was this: would Baker talk like that about a young stud the same way he talked about Olivo, “and” would he talk about a veteran the same way he talked about Devin. Of course he wouldn’t. Then, why this now? Not heaping praise on a young stud I can understand. Baker came right out unwarranted and said Devin has a maturity issue. The only person with a maturity issue I see is Baker. He can’t even let a batting issue several years old pass away, calling for one of our pitchers to throw at Derek Lowe, I believe. Going to the papers to press the front office for an extension. Then, doing it with Chapman. And, now this?

        You can’t “put in your time” if you rarely are allowed to “put in your time”. Riding the pine isn’t “putting in your time”. Riding the pine is “wasting your time”.

  13. I think Mesoraco was sent down as much for the concussion he got and the lack of performance than for any maturity issue. As far as most of the reports I read went, everyone liked his hustle and attitude, but acknowledged that he went too wild on that ump. But pitchers love a catcher who sticks up for the strike zone, I highly doubt it hurt Mesoraco’s standing in the organization.

    I don’t think he’s in any kind of doghouse, and for once I agree with Redsfanman, I think managing the catching tandem is going to be tough. Of all the sophomores, I expect Mesoraco to have the best year. A) because of the bad BABIP everyone knows about by now. B) I call it the Weiters effect. Coming up at a young age and learning a whole league of big league hitters is a tough adjustment, and the second year is a lot better.

    The trouble is going to be when Mesoraco is putting up an .800 OPS, and Hannigan is putting up a .350 OBP and is a better defensive catcher. Dusty did a good job with Hannigan and Hernandez though, and this is one of those good problems.

    • I think Mesoraco was sent down as much for the concussion he got and the lack of performance than for any maturity issue. As far as most of the reports I read went, everyone liked his hustle and attitude, but acknowledged that he went too wild on that ump. But pitchers love a catcher who sticks up for the strike zone, I highly doubt it hurt Mesoraco’s standing in the organization. I don’t think he’s in any kind of doghouse, and for once I agree with Redsfanman, I think managing the catching tandem is going to be tough. Of all the sophomores, I expect Mesoraco to have the best year. A) because of the bad BABIP everyone knows about by now. B) I call it the Weiters effect. Coming up at a young age and learning a whole league of big league hitters is a tough adjustment, and the second year is a lot better. The trouble is going to be when Mesoraco is putting up an .800 OPS, and Hannigan is putting up a .350 OBP and is a better defensive catcher. Dusty did a good job with Hannigan and Hernandez though, and this is one of those good problems.

      Much more than obvious, Al, that Devin was in Baker’s doghouse last season. Because of his offensive performance? Gomes/Patterson/Tavaras/Stubbs offense was just as atrocious. Gomes got over a season of full-time play out of it. Stubbs got 3 seasons of full-time play out of it. What ever happened to Baker’s “You need to play through your slumps”? Devin appeared in 2 games the entire last month and a half of the season, nothing in the post season, in favor of a veteran player (Navarro) who was performing but probably no intention of staying around after the season, taking time from a player we needed to develop. Then, Baker does this to Devin? I wouldn’t be surprised if Devin has his playing time cut to playing 1 day per week, catching only Leake.

      I do agree we probably have the best catching tandum in the majors. I do agree it is a lot like Ryan and Ramon. The thing is, Ramon couldn’t catch full-time, like Ryan, either. But, Devin can catch a lot more, probably needs to, possibly should be.

      • @steveschoen:
        Well, it is of course possible that Devin acted such as to deserve to be in the manager’s doghouse. Jockety, not Baker, is the one who demoted him, and WJ almost certainly did so with input from both Baker and Brian Price.

        It is also a possibility, if not a certainty, that the starters last year all preferred pitching to Hanigan. Much of that is because Hanigan is exceptionally good, but with the millions of dollars at stake, why would we blame them for wanting to throw to one of the most-prepared defensive catchers instead of a rookie? Was Meso frustrated? Yes, probably.

        A DDS legend is that Baker hates younger players, even though he’s played Votto, Bruce, Cozart, Stubbs and Cueto full time ever since they came up. Yeah, he should have gone to Frazier sooner, but he in a similar vein stayed with the veteran Ludwick for most duty despite a slow start, and that paid off. Mesoraco will get his chance, especially if he does his homework defensively.

        Dusty wants to win, and he needs Mesoraco to be a very good backup, and full-timer if Hanigan goes down.

        • @Big Ed: Keep in mind that he also played Matt Murton (24) in LF, and Ronny Cedeno (23) at SS over Neifi Perez, the 33 year old incumbent.

          Dusty certainly isn’t my favorite but some of the things he’s blamed for or that he has a reputation for doing, just aren’t true. They are a matter of perception. While Baker may have a veteran bias, he does give young players a chance. I think the biggest problem Mes has is that Hanigan is very good and the starters love throwing to him. Mes is going to have to play well when he gets the chance to catch Leake and Bailey. Is it a completely fair test? No, but I don’t think you can bench Hanigan to give Mes a starter’s job when Hanigan is such a good defensive catcher and won’t kill the team with his bat.

      • @al:

        Much more than obvious, Al, that Devin was in Baker’s doghouse last season. Because of his offensive performance? Gomes/Patterson/Tavaras/Stubbs offense was just as atrocious. Gomes got over a season of full-time play out of it. Stubbs got 3 seasons of full-time play out of it.

        The difference is that none of those dudes were competing with a guy who was hitting .290 (Hanigan’s average when Mez was demoted) AND an exceptional defender AND who was the pitchers’ clear preference.

        I think Baker let Mez rot a little, but I can’t dispute the preference for Hanigan in a “pennant race.”

        It should be noted, though: Hanigan hit .200/.286/.236 in September (starting 18 of 28 games). Dusty ought to keep that in mind this year.

    • @al: I will never get the “going wild on the ump” thing. He bumped an ump, which has happened about 5,467 times in the bigs.

      It had to be something else.

  14. Is there anyone in the league more consistently great than Votto? I was looking at some of the Reds’ spring training numbers.. and I saw Votto’s line:

    .326/.431/.581

    Compare that to his 2010 and 2012 seasons:

    ’10- .324/.424/.600
    ’12- .337/.474/.567

    Even in Spring Training, the guy’s cruising along at roughly the same great pace he does in the regular season. Not even like 5 great games and then a couple not so great.. seems like he just constantly puts out good games that add up to a great year. He can’t be human with that kind of crazy consistency that spans every game he plays, spring training or regular season.

  15. Joey’s walked twice in two AB’s against in Volquez. Think he remembers he’s got control issues? That said, nobody has gotten a hit yet in 2+ innings.

  16. Oooh. Bases loaded for Mes in the five hold. 3BB’s in a row for Volquez with 2 outs. So glad he’s not on this team anymore. Survey says: Mes grounds into a FC. Darn.

    • @Matt WI: Was thinking exactly the same thing. Glad to not have to deal with Volquez. Can you believe he’s the Opening Day pitcher for the Padres. (Then again, he was the Opening Day pitcher for the Reds and pitched Game One vs. the Phillies. Ugh.)

    • Did anyone notice that as wild as EV normally pitches (and he’s holding true to form today),after 2 innings, I think he had 6-7 strikes and 8 balls for 6 outs and 2 walks. Everyone except Votto and Cozart were 1st pitch swinging and almost every pitch was out of the strike zone.

  17. Baker has always had a double standard regarding the way he talks about veteran players and younger players. He went after Chris Dickerson in the papers, too. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just consistent. Hopefully Mesoraco has a good start to the season and puts this behind him. I’m encouraged to read Baker talk about using Mesoraco with more than just certain pitchers. It’s time for Mesoraco to develop a relationship with all the starters (maybe except Arroyo, who will likely be gone after this year).

    I’m someone who thinks Baker handled the catching situation well last year. He kept playing a struggling Mesoraco as much as he could without jeopardizing the team’s overall record. Mesoraco got quite a bit of experience until he ran into the concussion issue.

    Olivo is Baker’s kind of player *extremely* free swinging hitter with some home run pop. But surely Baker’s comments are more about being polite than his sincere opinion that if it wasn’t for “contractual” circumstances, Olivo would be making the team. Olivo has been dreadful both at and behind the plate before this spring and didn’t hit at all in the last month.

  18. Choo goes opposite field for a dinger! Get Choo for your fantasy drafts, it’s going to be a very, very good year.

  19. The Reds’ double and walk machine is in high gear and Ludwick goes yard. Bring on the Halos!

  20. And Schmidt nails the baserunner at 2B on an attempted steal. Hey, the new guy fits right in.

  21. Donald swipes 2B after reaching on an error. The knee doesn’t seem to be bothering him any more.

  22. The top 4 in the lineup are 7-16 with 5 BB, 3 HR, 6 R & 7 RBI. All 4 played a full 9 innings. Leake pitched 6 innings and I didn’t see him throw a single ball, although I missed some of his pitches and those probably included a few.

  23. If Ondru actually does have an option remaining, he may have just bought himself a ticket to Louisville.

  24. Jon Heyman‏ via twitter…

    Catcher Miguel Olivo asked for his release, which was granted by #reds. He’s a free agent now.

    • @Shchi Cossack: That’s unfortunate. Dusty and Jocketty both seemed to want him to report to AAA, now Jocketty will probably have to search for a new minor league catcher unless he has confidence in Nevin Ashley.

      • @redsfanman: WJ already signed another catcher, Konrad Schmidt, on the 24th, before the Reds even announced the roster move for Olivo. Schmidt is on the Bats’ roster and pinch hit last night in the SD game. I’m always amazed at how quietly WJ makes his moves, major or minor.

        • @redsfanman: You had the exact same reaction I had when he came in to pinch hit last night…

          ‘who the heck is Konrad Schmidt and when did he show up’

        • @redsfanman: I was driving home from work, and when I heard the name, I actualy thought “hey, wait a minute, I thought the Reds were up.” Like maybe I’d zoned out at the wheel for a few minutes…

          But still, a name more interesting than “Corky”, but still with the Corky-stache. Bravo, Mr. Jockerty! Well played.

  25. I like the Konrad Schmidt signing for depth. He is a pretty good defensive catcher and has been around a while. Nice pickup by the Reds.

  26. I don’t think one can fully appreciate Konrad Schmidt over the radio, it’s the picture/facial hair that is key. The facial hair sort of makes it seem like he fits in and belongs in the organization.

    I can’t seem to find much written about Konrad online. I wonder where this leaves Corky Miller – who is 3rd on the depth chart and who is 4th? Is Corky better defensively but a worse hitter? Has age pushed Corky to 4th on the depth chart? Do the two of them look similar or does one have to lose the facial hair so they look different?

    It seems like Miguel Olivo might get a major league job with the Marlins.

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