CINCINNATI -- One of the Reds' top prospects, catcher Devin Mesoraco, will be among the September callups to be promoted to the big leagues from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, when rosters are allowed to expand. The Reds' first-round selection in the 2007 Draft, Mesoraco will be in the Majors for the first time. His arrival has been highly anticipated for much of the season. He had to be added to the 40-man roster to be eligible for the callup. "Obviously he's a guy we're going to protect," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "It's a chance for him to get some exposure and get used to seeing what it's like in the big leagues. We'll see what he can learn the last month of the season."
Mesoraco, 23, is batting .289 with 15 home runs, 71 RBIs and a .371 on-base percentage in 120 games with Louisville. He emerged as a prospect to watch last year, when he started to take off offensively. The organization named him its 2010 Minor League Player of the Year after he batted .302 with 26 homers at Louisville and Double-A Carolina. How much playing time Mesoraco will get behind the plate along with veterans Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan is unclear. "I think we'll just have to see," Jocketty said. "We're going to try and give him some playing time, obviously." "Monie and Hany are great catchers," Mesoraco said in July at the All-Star Futures Game in Phoenix. "Somehow, some way it will work out for me at some point. I'm not in any kind of a hurry." Third baseman Juan Francisco, infielder Chris Valaika, pitchers Carlos Fisher, Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Jeremy Horst will also make the short trip up Interstate 71. Outfielder Chris Heisey will be activated from the 15-day DL, and starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Travis Wood are expected to join the Reds after Louisville's season ends on Sept. 5. With the exceptions of Mesoraco and Burton, all of the players have been on the big league roster this season. Volquez, the Reds' Opening Day starter this season, has been in his second stint with Louisville since early July. He will make one more start at Triple-A before coming up and might get back into the rotation eventually. "At some point -- we have to try and figure him in some place," Jocketty said. "[Pitching coach] Bryan [Price] is still working on it. He may initially come out of the bullpen. We'll try to get him a start or two."