Morning item: Olivo or Mesoraco?
During a morning session with reporters on Monday, Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked about catcher Miguel Olivo. If it wasn’t already clear before camp, it certainly is now. Olivo is in the hunt for the No. 2 catcher’s job against Devin Mesoraco.
“You’re deciding on if we keep Mesoraco or if you keep a guy like Olivo,” Olivo said. “The guy has a lot of experience. The one drawback is he’s non-roster. You would really have to play your way on for you to take somebody else off and expose him. He’s super strong with a real good throwing arm. I’ve known him a long time. He brings a lot of energy to the game, to the ballpark.”
Olivo, who was signed on Feb. 1, is 1-for-2 with a homer and three RBIs in two games. He also has a sac fly and a walk with the bases loaded. In the opener one inning after Olivo’s long ball, Mesoraco crushed a ball to deep left-center field for his own homer.
Last season with Seattle, the 34-year-old Olivo batted .222 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs in 87 games. Mesoraco, as you know, struggled offensively in his rookie year.
The question is — would a young 24-year-old like Mesoraco benefit more from everyday at-bats at Louisville or could he develop as the No. 2 catcher in the Majors and gradually get more playing time alongside Ryan Hanigan?