Reds promoting top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco

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The Reds are planning to add several fresh faces Thursday when major league rosters expand, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.

Chief among those September callups will be catching prospect Devin Mesoraco.

A 23-year-old from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (yes, home of the famous groundhog), Mesoraco has posted an impressive .289/.371/.484 batting line with 36 doubles, 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 120 games this season at Triple-A Louisville. He was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and has steadily developed into one of the top young talents in the sport. Baseball America ranked him this winter as their 64th best prospect.

Manager Dusty Baker is likely to keep catchers Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan fairly active down the stretch, but Mesoraco will see a couple of random starts as the Reds try to get the youngster accustomed to life in the majors. Hanigan is signed through 2013, but Hernandez is set to become a free agent this winter.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.