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.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.