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Recovering Mesoraco rejoins Reds in Milwaukee

Catcher's playing status up to team's medical staff

MILWAUKEE -- All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco, who has missed the last seven games with a left hip impingement, has rejoined the team and said he is available on a limited basis.

"I'm available to pinch-hit right now," Mesoraco said before Tuesday's game against the Brewers at Miller Park. "My hip's still bothering me a little bit."

Mesoraco, who has not played since April 12, was not with the team in Milwaukee on Monday, but was home for what manager Bryan Price called "family reasons."

Mesoraco, who hit .273 last season with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs, had yet to get on track offensively prior to his injury. In six games, he was 2-for-21 with no extra-base hits.

With the final three games of the Brewers series under the retractable roof at Miller Park, followed by a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Mesoraco said he did not think the relatively cool Midwestern spring weather would hinder his recovery.

"It's not a muscular thing, so that wouldn't really make a difference for me, I don't think," he said.

Mesoraco said his availability and playing status are up to the team's medical staff.

"I'm just going off what the trainers and the doctors tell me to do," Mesoraco said. "That's not my expertise. I'm worried about hitting the ball, my swing and things like that. I just kind of follow the protocol.

"You want to get back in there, which is human nature. For me, being a competitor, I want to be in there as much as I possibly can. But, those guys have a job to do and they do a good job, so I trust them."

Mesoraco said it's hard to predict how he'll be affected by the layoff.

"Last year I was hurt in Spring Training, had 10 rehab at-bats, and came off the DL very well," he said. "The next time I came back, I got a couple of hits and then didn't get a hit for seemingly a month. It's very hard to tell. I don't think it's one thing or another that's difficult. The game's hard as it is."

With Mesoraco sidelined, Brayan Pena has started behind the plate in seven of the last eight games.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to
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