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

Join the conversation! 23 Comments

  1. Hard to argue with the above logic. I saw Devin play in Philadelphia in 2014 and he was hammering the ball to all fields. I thought he would be a mainstay at the catcher position for years to come. I guess the Front Office at the time agreed. Sadly, it was not to be. The likely scenario this year is that he misses yet more time and the Reds have to look for other platoon options with Barnhart.

  2. Maybe he’ll be traded to the Astros for lefty Tony Sipp and prospects?

  3. Obviously the good and bad is 100% correlated to Mesoraco’s health.

    The best case scenario involves Devin coming to spring training healthy and ready to play. He plays the entire spring healthy, forming a platoon partner for Barnhart against LH starting pitching. After the first two months of the season, the rust yields to long road back and Devin begins to mash the ball during June and July, leading to an decision and an opportunity for the Reds. If Devin is mashing and the Reds are seriously competing, then Mesoraco probably remains with the Reds through the end of his contract. If Devin is mashing and the Reds are not seriously competing, then Devin is traded prior to the trade deadline for a nice rental return in trade.

    The worst case scenario involves Devin once again dealing with nagging injuries or succumbing to a full-blown, end-of-career injury.

    I really hope Mesoraco can finish his career with 2-3 effective, if not spectacular, seasons after the 2018 season. Unfortunately, if that happens, it won’t be playing for the Reds. A DH role is almost certainly awaiting in Devin’s future.

  4. Best case: He is healthy and productive and can be traded at the deadline
    Worst case: More time on the disabled list

  5. Best Case: He plays well, and is traded at the deadline.
    Worst Case: The contract is over.

  6. While it’s easy to understand the hip problems, the insult to injury of the broken foot was too much. Seemed like Dev was coming around a bit before that. It’s really hard to imagine a best case scenario at this point. These injuries, especially for such a physically demanding position, are too hard to overcome to play at a high level. At least he got a significant contract before all the bad luck. Best of luck, Dev. 2014 seems like a long time ago. It is in baseball years.

  7. Best case scenario: Devin (and the Reds) realize that his future in baseball might be as a platooning first baseman and/or designated hitter in the American League.

    Worst case scenario: On-going health issues.

  8. I’m hoping he finds the batch tank. He we’re Reds fans, why can’t we live in another universe.

  9. Best case: He plays a full season, contributes admirably off the bench to a Reds playoff push, and crushes a 425ft game winning bomb in the Wildcard game.

    Worst case: Tears something else trying to hit the ball 883 ft again.

  10. I root so hard for Devin. I was so excited for him going into ‘15. He generated so much power when he turned those hips. Unfortunately it was the hips that began his downfall. I agree that he has seen more bad luck than anyone I can remember. Homer is a close 2nd. Best case for Devin is probably a productive platoon player. Worst case is the injury’s have taken their toll and he spends the last year of his career fighting to stay healthy. I hope he gets some positive results this season.

  11. Best-case: Plays well enough to be worth a few okay prospects in a trade.
    Wort-case: Injured

  12. Best: Plays well in part-time role and Reds trade him.
    Worst: Doesn’t play well in part-time role and Reds trade him.

  13. I think the best case scenario is Devin finds his bat and stays healthy. That, “at minimum” gives the Reds 2 of the best catchers in the league and possible trade bait; hopefully, Devin will learn a new position. Worst case scenario, Devin gets injured again and he walks after this upcoming season; I believe his contract is up after this season.

  14. Best case, he is healthy and has a gold glove catcher playing 2 days per week.

    Worst case, he is healthy and has a gold glove catcher playing2 days per week.

  15. If Devin is healthy and can play on a regular basis, it could make a big offensive difference for the Reds.
    Tucker is a fine catcher, and calls a good game. He has improved as an offensive player, but he’s not THAT good. A real quandary for the Reds if they are both playing well.

    It is yet to be seen what the Reds do in the off season (trade an outfielder to make room for Winker), or something similar.
    Whether Cozart finds a new team, or the Reds resign him.

    But all the best case/worst case stuff about Devin revolves around the Reds front office actually DOING something to improve the team, besides just marinating the young pitching prospects. I actually expect Williams to do just about nothing. Because Castellini won’t let him, because Jocketty is still whispering in his ear.

    If they really think Devin is going to be healthy, why not trade Tucker? When will he be more valuable than now? Just throwing something out there, because I wouldn’t trade Tucker, but some team might offer something good for him.

  16. Best case…trade him
    Worst case….he’s on the roster another year.

  17. The best case scenario has probably already passed. That would have been to find a trading partner to pay some of his $13M salary & open up another spot on the 40 man roster before last week. Reds could have kept Deck McGuire or protected Wyatt Strahan. Worse case scenario follows the Cozart 2017 model in which Devin has a good first half, suffers a minor injury in early July, garners little interest from other teams at the trading deadline, ends the season playing well for the Reds, becomes a FA, signs a 3 year deal next December, & the Reds get squat.

  18. its funny, the reds have 3 guys that you would consider moving to first base to keep their bat in the line up. Devin, Cozart and even Winker. problem is you have a guy named Votto over there already that plays everyday.

    • Cozart is a free agent and I don’t think anyone is looking to move him to first. He has always been known for his defense and the Reds have no one to replace him at SS that compares. Mes or Winker would be 1B candidates in the absence of Votto, but Mes’ issues are not getting his bat in the lineup. His issue is injuries, otherwise he would have been the starting catcher.

  19. How many of these “nice guys” do the Reds have who get injured? At some point you need to cut bait.

    Maybe the Reds can trade for Jack Parkman. He was a jerk, but he never got hurt.

  20. Devin has “Oakland A’s” written all over him, either this year or next. Hope he hits well for them.

  21. Best case is to trade Devin to a team who needs a DH in American League. Reds may also have to include some $$$ in that trade. Most likely that team would want to platoon him and see how he does before committing that position to him. Devin has a much bigger chance to stay healthy and prove how great of a hitter he is.

    This is of course best thing for Devin, but also helps the Reds to shed some $$ to be used elsewhere + frees up a valuable roster spot on their 40 man roster to hold yet another rule 5 pick this year (bullpen this year I think).

    I am a big Devin fan and think he is a great guy. I think there is very little chance of him staying healthy if he catches … so why have him try that again? I wish him well and hope he can continue his career after 2018. Hitters with his ability to spray to all field with much power and confidence are rare.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

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


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