GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Thursday, took their physicals and went out to the fields for their first official workout. It was no small footnote that catcher Devin Mesoraco was fully involved with camp activity following a season mostly lost to injury in
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Thursday, took their physicals and went out to the fields for their first official workout. It was no small footnote that catcher Devin Mesoraco was fully involved with camp activity following a season mostly lost to injury in 2015.
Mesoraco was limited to 23 games, including nine starts behind the plate, last season because of a left hip impingement. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in that hip in late June, but he was not being held back Thursday after seven months of rehabilitation.
"Everything went as planned in the offseason. We were able to do everything we wanted to do in January. At this point, no limitations," Mesoraco said. "I think, medically, I'm 100 percent ready to go. I don't think my hip should be a factor."
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Mesoraco, 27, slugged 25 home runs during an All-Star 2014 season and seemed poised to become one of baseball's elite catchers before his injury derailed his progress last year.
Reds manager Bryan Price is anticipating having Mesoraco again in his everyday lineup this season.
"A big boost. He's an All-Star performer, a run producer, a guy that worked his way into the middle of the lineup," Price said. "He impacts us offensively and defensively. It's nice to have someone that you think will be out there five out of every six, six out of every seven days behind the plate and able to influence our pitching staff the way he did in 2014.
"There's a lot to be said about the way he goes about his business. He's a professional. Winning matters. It's the most important thing, and doing a great job for the pitchers is a primary concern for Devin. We need that type of character on the club."
Mesoraco spent the offseason working out in Cincinnati, often with catching coordinator Mike Stefanski. He also caught bullpen sessions for reliever J.J. Hoover and performed numerous catching and blocking drills.
"There isn't anything down here that I haven't done. I don't see any problems," Mesoraco said. "The volume, I may get a little more tired. But to be honest, we were working four days a week, an hour-and-a-half of straight catching stuff."
At Spring Training last year, Mesoraco was hoping to catch 140-150 games. He did not place a goal for 2016.
"At this point, it would be for [the coaching staff] to determine," Mesoraco said. "I haven't demonstrated I can go out there, play every day and stay healthy. I'd say at this point, I will be in there as much as they want me to be."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.