Cincinnati just signed catcher Devin Mesoraco to a four-year, $28 million contract and now apparently the Reds are going to run him into the ground.
Reds manager Bryan Price told Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News that he wants Mesoraco behind the plate for nearly every game:
I see him as a Yadier Moilina-type guy who is going to catch 145 games a year, more so than I see him catching 110 a year and playing 20 or 30 at first base. … I anticipate Mesoraco catching a lot more games this year, especially if he stays healthy.
Mesoraco started a career-high 104 games at catcher last season.
In terms of Price’s quote/plan, it should be noted that Yadier Molina has never actually started 145 games at catcher in a season. Or even 140. He’s only started more than 135 games once, in 2009. It should also be noted that Salvador Perez, Jason Kendall, and Russell Martin are the only catchers in the past decade to start 145 or more games in a season.
And there’s a reason why so few catchers do so: They either can’t handle that big of a workload physically, breaking down before they can start that many games. Or their teams recognize what would probably happen if they asked them to start 145 games and decide against it.
Good luck, Devin.