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Reds place Devin Mesoraco on DL with left shoulder strain

Another DL stint for the stitched-up catcher.

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In case you hadn’t noticed, Tucker Barnhart has started four of the last five games for the Cincinnati Reds behind the plate, a stretch of play that should’ve made it obvious that something was up with Devin Mesoraco. As it turns out, Mesoraco, who had gone just 1 for his last 15 with no walks and 5 Ks dating back to June 26th, has a strained left shoulder, an injury significant enough to land him on the 10-day DL today. The Reds themselves announced the move on Wednesday afternoon.

The left shoulder is the same non-throwing shoulder that needed labrum surgery just last year, which obviously makes the severity of this particular injury in a bit more of a spotlight. Recent struggles aside, Mes has had a solid bounce-back year since returning to the lineup, hitting .234/.333/.459 and flashing the kind of power stroke that made him such a breakout star in the 2014 season.

The pessimist will view this as yet another setback for both Mes and the Reds since he signed that 4 year, $28 million contract after that breakout year. Honestly, there’s enough ink on his injury log over the last few seasons to justify that at least crossing your mind. However, the optimist in my wants to believe this is simply a way to buy him a bit of extra time sandwiched around the All Star break, and that 10 days from his last appearance (July 2nd, when this DL stint will be back-dated to) means he’ll only miss the next four games and be back and ready when the second half of the season begins July 14th. With Stuart Turner rotting on the bench, perhaps that was enough insurance to simply play this one safe.

It’s a bummer, though hopefully not one nearly on the same levels as what he’s dealt with before. And at least there’s the byproduct of us getting to see more of Ariel Hernandez’s devastating arsenal on the mound in the meantime.