GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds manager Bryan Price said he was no closer on Thursday to naming a starting lineup for the season opener on Monday at 4:10 p.m. ET against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park because of the condition of catcher Devin Mesoraco.
Mesoraco has a strained left oblique and hasn't played in a game since March 17. His chances of opening on the active 25-man roster are narrowing.
"We haven't made a complete commitment on Mesoraco not being ready," Price said when asked about the timing of the 25-man roster announcement. "It's unlikely that he would be, but we haven't signed off on the fact that he might be ready, at least at some point, to play during the opening series. Today is probably a very important day right now for that. There are just a lot of balls still up in the air right now.
"I don't know that we'll have Devin for Opening Day, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised."
Mesoraco resumed hitting in the cages on Monday and seemed to fare well after taking about 30 swings. But swinging the bat is only a small part of it, Price said.
"The bottom line is, at some point in time he's got to play," Price said. "It's been 10 days off since his last game now. He's got to catch, throw, hit, hit live pitching. I mean, that's a lot to accomplish in a short time. But we have not, as of right now, decided to put him on the disabled list."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.