Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has been activated from the disabled list after being sidelined since the middle of spring training with an oblique injury.
Cincinnati traded Ryan Hanigan to the Rays this winter in large part because they wanted to clear the path for Mesoraco to take over as the starting catcher at age 25. Brayan Pena started four of the six games in his absence and fill-in backup Tucker Barnhart–great baseball name!–is heading back to Triple-A after starting twice.
This is a big season for Mesoraco. He was once a first-round pick and top prospect, but now he’s 25 years old and has hit just .225 with a .641 OPS through 175 career games.
Across the league, scores of minor leaguers have been released in recent days. Already overworked and underpaid, these players are now left without any kind of reliable income during a pandemic, and during a time of civil unrest.
Jon Heyman reports that agent Scott Boras will pay the salaries of his minor league clients who were among those released. It’s a great and much-needed gesture. Boras described the releases as “completely unanticipated.”
Boras, of course, is perhaps the most successful sports agent of all time, so he and his company can afford to do this. That being said, it should be incumbent on the players’ teams — not their agents or their teammates — to take care of them in a time of crisis. Boras is, effectively, subsidizing the billionaire owners’ thriftiness.