CINCINNATI -- Until playing two innings on Sunday, Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco hadn't so much as sniffed the batter's box since his return to the Majors on Sept. 2.
The success of newer backup catcher Dioner Navarro is partially responsible for Mesoraco being idle. Navarro is batting .290, but had hits in five of his last six games.
"What do you expect [Mesoraco] to say? 'The other guy is playing pretty good,'" Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Mesoraco was the top prospect who spent all season in the Majors until getting demoted to Triple-A Louisville for 10 days. He's struggled to hit all year and lost his spot, as he batted .210 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 52 games while catching two out of every five games prior to his demotion.
After he served a two-game suspension for making contact with an umpire during an argument, the Reds sent Mesoraco down on Aug. 23.
"I wouldn't say shocking," Mesoraco said of the move. "I hadn't been playing great. I especially could see that. I went down, tried to work on some things and get better. I'm trying to get my swing back to where I want it to be. I don't feel like it's been good all year."
Mesoraco, who was 3-for-18 in five games for Louisville, struck out in his lone plate appearance for the Reds in the eighth inning of Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Astros. He wasn't thinking about whether he would be part of the potential postseason roster.
"We'll see. I'm here trying to help out any way I can, get better any way I can," Mesoraco said. "Whatever happens, happens.
"It's not like I've completely changed as a player. I'm still the player most people think I can be and I was at one time. It's not like it's been 10 years that's changed me. It's been 200 at-bats, maybe. Whenever I get a chance again, I will show that I am the same player."