Mesoraco activated; Pena starts vs. Cards

Mesoraco activated; Pena starts vs. Cards

ST. LOUIS -- Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday before a three-game series with the Cardinals. However, Mesoraco didn't make the start.

Brayan Pena was behind the plate to catch Reds starter Tony Cingrani. They formed the battery on Wednesday, when Cingrani pitched seven scoreless innings vs. St. Louis.

"He's not in there because of the way things worked between Brayan and Tony the first time through," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think familiarity is important in this particular case. Our intentions are for Devin to get the bulk of the playing time. That's not going to change. He's just not starting today."

Mesoraco suffered a strained left oblique muscle near the end of Spring Training and had to start the season on the DL. He went on a three-game rehab assignment at Double-A Pensacola and went 0-for-5 with two walks and a sacrifice fly.

"It went good. There were no problems. I am 100 percent healthy and ready to go," Mesoraco said. "I think it was important to go down and play a couple of games just so that I know there are no problems in there and I won't have any worries when I'm up here. Everything went well."

To make room for Mesoraco on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned rookie catcher Tucker Barnhart to Triple-A Louisville. Barnhart was 2-for-8 in three games, including two starts.

Mesoraco took no issue with not being in Monday's lineup.

"I can get my feet under me today and go from there," he said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.