After compliment from Bench, Mesoraco in six-hole

After compliment from Bench, Mesoraco in six-hole

After compliment from Bench, Mesoraco in six-hole

CINCINNATI -- During the weekend, former Reds catcher and Hall of Famer Johnny Bench tweeted that current backstop Devin Mesoraco "will bat in the cleanup spot before his career is over." At the time of the tweet, Mesoraco hadn't started a game higher than seventh in the lineup all season, but on Tuesday, he was inserted into the sixth spot behind Jay Bruce.

In 16 games since the All-Star break, Mesoraco entered Tuesday batting .315 (17-for-54) with four homers and 12 RBIs. Reds manager Dusty Baker has been pleased with Mesoraco's play at the plate and behind it, especially with fellow catcher Ryan Hanigan on the disabled list since June 11.

For Mesoraco, he said nothing about how his approach changes moving into the sixth spot, as he hopes to continue swinging the bat well no matter where he's hitting.

"It's one spot," Mesoraco said. "I've been hitting seventh, eighth sometimes. I think that you earn your way up the order with how you perform. I think it's definitely a good feeling that I'm hitting the ball a little better, and swinging the bat that they think I'd be better off a little higher in the lineup. Hopefully I'll go out there and reward them and drive in some runs."

More so than moving up in the lineup, Mesoraco was excited about what Bench had to say regarding his future.

"That was cool," Mesoraco said. "I've spoken to him a couple times, and he's always been very complimentary. When you get that kind of word from him, it's pretty special."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.