This week’s respondents are Jason Linden, Wes Jenkins, Bill Lack, Grant Freking, and Chad Dotson.
Our Daily Reds Obsession: What’s the best-case scenario for Devin Mesoraco? Worst-case?
Jason: Best case: Splits time with Tucker Barnhart and provides some pop while managing to be a bit above average overall. Worst case, we all end up saying, “well, at least it’s the last year of that contract.” There were signs with Mes last year, but the overall results weren’t great. Ugh. This is such an unpleasant question. Because Mes seems like such a decent guy and the injuries have just killed his career. Still, if you take out That One Season, he’s got a career WAR total of -0.1.
Wes: Oh man, the age-old question: What to do about the picked over, roadside carcass of Devin Mesoraco? I’d say the best-case scenario is Dr. Frankenstein comes across the Punxsutawney native, zaps him with a lightning bolt or two, and breathes enough life back into Devin’s career that any Major League team is willing to give him a contract for 2019.
The worst-case scenario is Bryan Price actually writing his name into the lineup enough times for the one non-surgically constructed ligament in his body to tear. It shouldn’t take more than 25 games I would suppose. Also, Tucker just won a Gold Glove. Can we move on from Devin? Seeing his name just makes me sad at this point.
Bill: Best-case? I’m a Mesoraco fan. I hope he comes to camp healthy and has a full season where he re-captures the magic of his offensive year of 2014. But there are a number of problems with this dream. One, Tucker Barnhart has taken control of the catching position and Devin hasn’t show the ability to play another position. Two, Devin will turn 30 in June of ’18, after missing the better part of the last 3 seasons, you have to wonder if he can come back.
Worst-case: time and inactivity catch up to Devin and he can’t compete well enough to make this team or he suffers yet another injury that robs him of the ability to compete for playing time. He’s a good guy and deserves better than the luck he’s received.
Grant: Best case: Mesoraco buys a bacta tank off eBay so he can spend an hour or two post-game healing even the most minor of wounds; the former first round pick will turn 30 in June and he’s never played more than 114 games in a season since he debuted in 2011. Hopefully for Mesoraco, he stay relatively healthy and form a formidable platoon with Tucker Barnhart. Naturally, the worst case for Mesoraco is he is sidelined for long portions of the 2018 season, therefore crippling his earning power in free agency next winter. Though the Reds are lacking catching depth at or near the majors, unless Mesoraco stays healthy and is willing to play in Cincinnati for a bit of a discount, I think the Reds will wash their hands of him after 2018.
Chad: Unfortunately, the best-case scenario is that Mesoraco stays healthy enough to start 45% of the games in 2018, combining for an outstanding platoon with Barnhart. This is what it’s come to: a guy who had one of the ten best single seasons for a catcher in Reds franchise history is relegated to a part-time role before he reaches the age of 30.
I don’t even want to consider the worst-case scenario. Either way, this is likely Mesoraco’s last season in Cincinnati. I can only hope he’ll be able to continue his big league career past 2018. He’s a genuinely nice guy who has worked his tail off for this organization, only to be beset by the worst run of luck I’ve ever seen. That makes me sad.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.