It has now been three days since Devin Mesoraco had a pinch hit appearance with nobody on base and the Cincinnati Reds up by four runs in a slugfest against the Milwaukee Brewers, and it's now been a full twelve days since he last made a start behind the plate.
According to John Fay, it looks like it may be several more days before the Reds most recently extended cog gets back in catching gear in a game, too.
Mesoraco said he hopes to catch a bullpen in next few days. #reds— John Fay (@johnfayman) April 24, 2015
A few days before even a bullpen catching attempt. Not good.
That the Reds initially tried to avoid putting Mesoraco on the DL is somewhat excusable. A day or two to assess the pain and recovery time of their 4 year, $28 million dollar All Star at such an early point in the season is something somewhat prudent, and is a tactic the Reds have employed for years under Walt Jocketty. Since it happened prior to the 10 day rule that limited optioned players from being recalled, it cost them the rights to Daniel Corcino, who was jettisoned as collateral damage to allow for Mesoraco to return without having to sit out a full fifteen days.
That we're now here, twelve days removed from a start and with a meaningless pinch hit appearance foiling any attempt at retroactively placing him on the DL is mind bending, though. Corcino's gone, the Reds have been playing short handed for nearly two full weeks, and the sacrifice they've taken on the chin in doing so now can't even be rewarded with a retroactive DL stint. Mesoraco's hip impingement - an injury that will likely linger long into the season - is nothing to sneeze at for players of any position (to which Alex Rodriguez and Chase Utley will attest), but bad hips and the rigors of being a major league catcher go together about as well as toothpaste and orange juice. Just ask Mike Napoli about that.
So, the Reds will continue to trudge on without the services of 2014's breakout performer, and they'll continue to do so with one hand tied behind their backs as they insist on carrying a player who cannot play instead of calling up another in his stead. And they'll do so in the most competitive division in baseball during a stretch of playing nobody but division foes.
That's some strategy, Reds. I hope people reading this don't attempt to use it against them.