Mesoraco works overtime to learn Mets' arms
Recently acquired catcher studies video in '72-hour crash course'
PHILADELPHIA -- When the Mets departed Cincinnati for Philadelphia early Wednesday evening, newly acquired catcher Devin Mesoraco stayed behind with his wife, Kira, to set the family's affairs in order. As the couple packed boxes for a move to New York, Mesoraco stole as much time as he could to watch video of his new teammates.
"She did a lot of the packing and I did a lot of the video watching," Mesoraco said, laughing.
All told, Mesoraco watched most of the Mets' defensive innings from the previous two weeks, using an online subscription service to tease out situations: Steven Matz against right-handed batters, for example, or Noah Syndergaard versus lefties.
When he reconnected with the Mets at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, fresh off his "72-hour crash course on Mets pitchers," Mesoraco felt infinitely more comfortable than he did after the Mets traded for him on Tuesday.
"If we're going to win games, it's going to be because of our starting pitching, no doubt about it," said Mesoraco, who homered in the ninth inning of the Mets' 3-1 win Friday night. "So my goal is to make the transition as easy as possible, and really try to get these guys comfortable so that they don't miss a beat. And then we'll go from there."
Mesoraco's first two games behind the plate went about as well as he could have hoped, with the Mets allowing three runs in 19 innings. When manager Mickey Callaway walked into the video room about six hours before game time Saturday, there was Mesoraco again, watching film before many of his teammates arrived at the ballpark.
"That's what it takes to be a really good catcher," Callaway said. "He's making it look easy. You watch him behind the plate and he's really leading the pitcher. He's really emphatic about where he wants the ball with his glove, his target. He's got a lot of energy back there, and that makes pitchers feel comfortable."
Starting three consecutive games against the Reds and Phillies, Mesoraco is likely to sit Sunday in the Mets' series finale at Citizens Bank Park. And his playing time will eventually taper off when Kevin Plawecki returns from the disabled list; at that point, the two figure to settle into a timeshare behind the plate.
By then, Mesoraco aims to have a far better grasp of the Mets' pitching staff, and the intricacies of each player's repertoire and personality.
"I'm not going to reinvent the wheel with somebody the first time meeting them," Mesoraco said. "I've got to learn these guys. I've got to see how they tick. They've all been successful in the past or they wouldn't be up there. So my job is to learn them, not so much to give suggestions or tell them what I think. That will be for down the road."
Not only did Callaway watch Matt Harvey's Reds debut on Friday night, but he sent a congratulatory text message after Harvey threw four shutout innings against the Dodgers.
"[I'm] pulling for him," the Mets manager said.
It's a boy and it's a girl
The Mets welcomed two new family members into the world on the same day. David Wright and his wife welcomed a daughter, Madison, on Friday -- the same day that Jay Bruce and his wife had a son, Maxwell. Both mothers and children are doing well, and Bruce, who is on the paternity list, will rejoin the Mets on Tuesday in New York.
A third Met, Jerry Blevins, is expecting a child in the coming days. He is on call to leave the team and join his wife at a moment's notice.