Mesoraco nearing return to lineup

Mesoraco nearing return to lineup

CINCINNATI -- The final goal of Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco's rehab assignment at Double-A Pensacola was achieved on Tuesday night. Mesoraco successfully caught nine innings in back-to-back games.

Following his day off on Wednesday, the Reds could make a decision on whether or not Mesoraco should be activated from the disabled list. He has been working his way back from 2016 surgeries on his right hip and left shoulder.

"He came out of it just fine," Reds manager Bryan Price said of the back-to-back games. "This is kind of the point in time where we'll re-assess what he needs for any type of finishing touches or polish before he's activated.

"I'd like to know how he feels today in the aftermath. If he feels pretty beat up, there might be some more reason to get him a little bit more activity there just to increase his stamina and durability to make sure he's more comfortable at the plate and behind the plate."

In eight games for Pensacola, Mesoraco is batting .143 (4-for-28) with one home run and three RBIs.

"The numbers would suggest [not enough at-bats], but I think you have to assess the quality of the at-bat, not just simply look at the batting average," Price said. "It's how he is seeing the ball and how his strike-zone command is and how his approach is. We'll take into account the opinion of [Pensacola manager] Pat Kelly and his staff as well as Devin's to make sure everyone is satisfied with how he's feeling both defensively and offensively."

Mesoraco has been limited to 39 games -- including 18 behind the plate -- over the last two seasons because of surgeries to both hips and the shoulder.

"It's got to be a helpless feeling," Price said. "I think he also understands the importance of his readiness when he is activated. He's not going to be catching just once or twice per week. He'll be catching more than that. We want him to be ready to influence our club in a positive way and take the time necessary to get to that place."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.