Spring Training: Reds being cautious with Mesoraco’s workload

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Spring Training: Reds being cautious with Mesoraco’s workload

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Cincinnati Reds’ Devin Mesoraco hits during a spring training baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco started Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

The Reds have been cautious with Mesoraco’s workload after three surgeries in two years have limited the Reds’ 2007 first-round pick to 39 games and 95 at bats the last two seasons.

Mesoraco’s first spring appearance came on March 12 when he caught two innings. He caught three innings Saturday and had a double for his first hit of the spring. Mesoraco caught four innings Monday and had a single in two at-bats.

“We’re going to be pretty deliberate with his rehab,” Price said. “It’s not a matter of saying he has to be ready for Opening Day at all costs. We aren’t going that way. We’re going to let this happens as it happens to see how he responds to an increased workload. He is going to be every other game. There is no way to increase the innings workload by going back-to-back. My goal is to get his individual game workload stretched out.”

The Reds have a backup plan to serve as a backup to starting catcher Tucker Barnhart. Stuart Turner, a Rule V draft pick, who has to stay on the Reds active roster or be offered back to Minnesota. Rob Brantly, who was signed to a minor league contract, has Major League experience with the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox.

“Brantly and Turner have been outstanding,” Price said. “ … I’d be comfortable with either one of them making the ballclub.”

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