Mesoraco set for Triple-A rehab assignment

Right-hander DeSclafani also taking next step

Mesoraco set for Triple-A rehab assignment

CINCINNATI -- Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco was briefly in the home clubhouse Monday morning gathering his bats and other equipment. He was preparing to head to Triple-A Louisville to begin a rehab assignment on Monday night.

Mesoraco has been on the 10-day disabled list since July 5 (retroactive to July 3) because of a left shoulder strain.

"You definitely want to make sure everything feels good and you're ready to go," Mesoraco said. "Hopefully no issues."

In 2016, Mesoraco had surgery to repair a torn labrum in that shoulder, but the current injury wasn't viewed as related. There was also no structural damage to the shoulder, which was injured when he extended his left arm farther than usual to catch a couple of errant pitches.

"He'll probably play a couple of games there, and then we'll probably reassess," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think it's a strong possibility it could be a short stint at Triple-A, but time will tell. We'll see how he gets through that."

Getting behind the plate in game situations should be the test that Mesoraco's shoulder needs.

"Every catcher that goes behind there is going to have a pitch that he's going to have to reach for with a backhand that is thrown with some intent and anger," Price said. "That'll be the test that he has to pass. Devin doesn't get cheated at the plate, as we all know. Game environment putting together six or eight at-bats and putting in some innings behind the plate should be the final box to check off."

In 40 games this season, Mesoraco is batting .234/.333/.459 with six home runs and 14 RBIs while splitting primary catching duties with Tucker Barnhart. He didn't rejoin the club until April 27 after a Minor League rehab assignment as he came back from the shoulder and right hip surgeries.

DeSclafani taking next step
Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who has been throwing bullpen sessions in Arizona for the past couple of weeks, is scheduled to throw in a simulated game on Tuesday in Goodyear, Ariz. On Sunday, he is expected to begin a rehab assignment and pitch three innings for the Reds' Rookie-level Arizona League team.

"But one leads to the other, so he's got to get through tomorrow," Price said. "If he can get through that without any issues, I believe we will start to get him on a regular five-day schedule to work his way back here."

DeSclafani could return sometime in August. He hasn't pitched all season because of an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow, which he sustained in mid-March. When the Reds played the D-backs at Chase Field July 7-9, DeSclafani threw a bullpen session in front of Price and the club.

"To watch him throw the other day in Arizona on the side was really impressive and encouraging," Price said. "He threw beautifully."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for 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.