Farmers Only Farmer's Market: The Devin Mesoraco conundrum

The last Farmer's Market before the draft tonight, so let's make it count.

UPDATE from 'creds. BK and I need to communicate better. I thought I had this morning's FO so I wrote out a whole bunch of stuff, then realized he did a bang up job already so no need for mine. Still, I put together a little chart of some players at AAA next to guys they could potentially replace on the big club. I understand hitting in AAA is quite different from hitting in the bigs, but still. The comparisons are interesting.

Reds Player

Line

Bats Player

Line

Jonny Gomes

.185/.311/.377

Todd Frazier

.280/.362/.515

Fred Lewis

.238/.273/.317

Yonder Alonso

.324/.381/.519

Scott Rolen

.243/.294/.371

Juan Francisco

.330/.354/.513

Ryan Hanigan

.241/.341/.321

Devin Mesoraco

.322/.410/.537

Reds SS

.231/.284/.265

Zack Cozart

.294/.336/.466

Please understand, I'm not suggesting that Rolen or Hanigan be dispensed with. More than anything else, I just want to see these AAA guys given a shot. The argument that you don't want too many rookies or new faces in the middle of a pennant race is quickly losing merit as the Reds stay near .500 and lose more and more ground to the Cardinals and Brewers. Maybe it's time for Walt to get creative. Clearly Devin Mesoraco is ready to try hitting in the big leagues. Perhaps trading Ramon Hernandez to a team desperate for catching could bring back a decent starter, or at the very least a good reliever, and Devin can start 3 of 5 days. Perhaps Todd Frazier or Juan Francisco is called up and splits time somewhat evenly with Scott Rolen, who is making it look more and more like his second half 2010 performance is his true ability level. Or maybe Zack Cozart just replaces one of the current short stops. No need to get creative there. Also, Fred Lewis has done little to impress. Yonder Alonso may be a butcher in left field but he can probably hit better than every current Reds outfielder not named Jay.

Finally, the obvious thing to mention is that the hitting hasn't really been the problem. The team sports one of the top offenses in the NL. The pitching has been terrible, but with no easy or obvious solutions, it seems to make sense to build the best lineup possible. I'm not sure the current lineup qualifies as that.

OK, post-jack over. On to BK's prospects!

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Yonder Alonso

In his second season in Louisville, Yonder is putting up the numbers that we expected from him all along. He's hitting .324 on the season, and has an OPS of 1.039 in his last 10 games. Worst case right now, he's Jonny Gomes with a better bat, right?

Brad Boxberger

Again? Yes, again. 0.87 ERA in his last 10 games, with 16 strikeouts and 2 walks in that span. That's strong. He's the closer in Carolina right now, and I don't see why that couldn't carry over to Louisville as soon as possible.

Devin Mesoraco

With all of the strong hitters on this Louisville club right now, there's nobody hotter than Meso-rake-o right now. In his last 10 games, he's sporting a .472/.558/.778 line, good for an absurd 1.336 OPS. Unfortunately for him, there's no rush to get him up here with two solid big league catchers, but it looks like he could be ready to take the next step if needed. If you're Walt, do you try to make room for him at the big league level (where you think he could help), or let him marinate a bit more in Louisville?

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Mike Costanzo

WIth a .411 OPS in the last 10 games, the man once referred to as Joey Votto's heir apparent has not been good. Maybe he should tell people to start calling him "T-Bone".

Jefry Sierra

Dismal year by one of Dayton's starters. Sitting at the Mendoza line right now, his line has been worse lately to the tune of a .125/.146/.175 in his last 10 games. Who knew that extra 'f' would make so much of a difference?

Chris Valaika

Wasn't expecting him to be here, but here he is. A .550 OPS in his last 10 games, and all of a sudden he's probably well behind Frazier on the utility infield depth chart if needed.

On to the games!

  • Louisville swept their weekend winning two home games and one away game against Columbus. On Friday, they won 10-4 behind a good night by Zack Cozart. Coz with 4-for-5 with a double and a homer, which I'll admit wouldn't have looked bad in the Reds lineup over the weekend. Devin Mesoraco hit his 6th homer of the year and drove in 5 runs. Brandon Hynick started the game and gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, and Chris Mobley and Tom Cochran pitched 2 scoreless innings each. On Saturday they won 6-5 in extra innings. Matt Klinker pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up 3 runs. Yonder Alonso and Jeremy Hermida had two hits each, but Brent Clevlen was the offensive star, going 3-for-5 with 2 homers, including the walk-off shot in the 10th. Sunday was even easier, as the Bats enjoyed a comfortable 11-5 win. Scott Carroll went 8 strong innings, only giving up 2 runs. The Bats had 18 hits on offense, led by Juan Francisco's 4-for-6 day (with 3 doubles). 7 of the 9 Bats starters had 2 hits, and Yonder Alonso hit his 7th homer of the year. Not to be outdone, Daniel Dorn hit his 8th, a grand slam. Up next: Doubleheader in Columbus starts at 5:05, with Dontrelle Willis and Daryl Thompson starting the games.
  • Carolina lost 2 of 3 over the weekend. They were shut out 1-0 on Friday. They got 4 hits as an offense, but Tim Gustafson had a good outing, giving up only 1 run in 5 innings. They were able to bounce back on Saturday, winning 7-6. Pedro Villarreal actually had his worst outing in a while, giving up 6 runs in 5 innings, but Travis Webb, Donnie Joseph, and Brad Boxberger were great out of the bullpen to preserve the lead. This was Boxy's 3rd save of the year, which tells us that he probably has taken over for DoJo at the back of the Louisville 'pen. Denis Phipps and Kevin Coddington had 3 hits each. Sunday wasn't as positive, as they got killed 10-4. James Skelton and Cody Puckett had two hits each, but the pitching wasn't good enough to come close to winning. Up next: Kyle McCulloch takes on Chattanooga at 7:05.
  • Bakersfield also lost 2 of their 3 games over the weekend. They lost 6-4 to Stockton on Friday. Josh Ravin gave up 4 runs in 3 1/3 innings in his start, and Mark Fleury and Josh Fellhauer had two hits each. They won 5-1 on Saturday. Mark Serrano had a good start, giving up no runs on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Henry Rodriguez had 3 hits, including his 8th homer of the year, as did Yasmani Grandal. They lost 6-1 on Sunday to Rancho Cucamonga behind an 8-inning start by workhorse Curtis Partch. The offense was stagnant though, as Chris Richburg and Ryan LaMarre were the only hitters to have multiple hits. Up next: The Blaze take on the Quakes again at 10:30.
  • Dayton also lost 2 of their 3 games over the weekend. They won on Friday 8-1 behind a dominant outing by Daniel Corcino. Corcino went 7 innings of shutout ball with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Stud. David Vidal led the way on offense with 3 hits, and Tucker Barnhart and Theo Bowe drove in 3 runs each. Daniel Tuttle got knocked around on Saturday, as the Dragons lost 13-2. Devin Lohman was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. On Sunday, Billy Hamilton was 2-for-4 with his 45th stolen base of the year in a 4-1 loss. Tanner Robles only made it 2 innings in his start, but the bullpen went 7 scoreless. Up next: Dragons are off today.
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