Mesoraco, Phillips among hot hitters

As the Reds have two weeks left in their season, Devin Mesoraco is one of the hitters who appears poised to finish up very strong. Mesoraco, who was in a 1-for-32 funk recently entered Sunday hitting .349 (15-for-43) with three home runs and 11 RBIs.

Overall, Mesoraco has 23 homers and 22 as a catcher. One more homer and he has the most homers for a Reds catcher since Johnny Bench hit 23 from that position in 1980. Remarkably, Mesoraco has had a strong season while seeming to fly under the radar among the top hitting catchers of the league.

In 105 games, Mesoraco is batting .282/.369/.545 with 23 homers and 74 RBIs — and had two stints on the DL. He has a .914 OPS and a .155 OPS+ (a stat that is adjusted for different ballparks). His WAR is 4.8.

“I can tell you we appreciate his numbers and the way he’s grown into being a really strong offensive performer this season,” Reds manager Bryan Price said on Sunday. “I don’t know if the national baseball conglomeration fully appreciates Devin Mesoraco yet. I would hope the appearance in the All-Star game brought some positive attention to him.”

*Meanwhile, 2B Brandon Phillips seems to have turned the corner following an initially poor offensive return from the DL, after he missed 31 games with a torn thumb ligament repaired by surgery.

Phillips, who at one point was 0-for-20 and 2-for-27, is batting .321 (9-for-28) in his last nine games. On Saturday, he drew a walk with the bases loaded and hit an eighth inning single. Overall, it’s been a down year for Phillips, who is batting .260/.303/.364 with seven homers and 48 RBIs.

“We saw that taking six weeks off and going to face Major League competition coming off a hand surgery wasn’t as easy to return from as we thought it might be, or hoped that it might be,” Price said. “He looks normal. I didn’t think he looked terrible when he came back but his timing had to have been affected.”

6 Comments

Have been a Mes fan since he came up. Glad to see him perform to this high standard and look forward to seeing him continue next year. Have not been a Phillips fan but glad to see him hitting again. Never been a doubt about his defense. Still hope he is gone next year, but I doubt it.

His injuries over the last couple of years has sadly started to take a toll on BP. Arguably still one of the best second baseman in the league. With the fans at the ballpark he is probably still the most popular Red.

Both are outstanding players . Hope Mesoraco finishes strong and has another great year next season!

Next year … [sigh] What hopes we had for ** this ** year!

Without some major changes we’ll be singing the same song at the same time next year.

Emphasis on ‘major!’

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