Devin Mesoraco cleared to begin rehab assignment — as a left fielder — Monday at AAA Louisville

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Devin Mesoraco is still unable to maintain a squatting position because of a lingering left hip impingement, but he and the Reds have a devised a plan that will allow him to return to action this season. And perhaps as early as next week.

Mesoraco, who hasn’t made a start at catcher since April 11 and has been on the disabled list since May 25, is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday as the starting left fielder at Triple-A Louisville. He has not played any outfield in the minors or majors, but the Reds are willing to experiment because they want his bat back in the lineup. Hip surgeon Bryan Kelly has signed off on the idea.

MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon says Mesoraco will need at least 3-4 games at Louisville to learn left field and get his timing right. He’s been doing outfield drills for over a week now, so that should help.

The 26-year-old had an .893 OPS, 25 homers, and 80 RBI in 114 games last season.

Reds top prospect Nick Senzel to undergo season-ending surgery

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Reds no. 1 prospect Nick Senzel is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on Tuesday, the club announced Saturday. Senzel tore a tendon in his right index finger on Friday and is not expected to make a full recovery before the 2018 season comes to a close, though any offseason activity has not yet been ruled out.

Prior to the start of the season, MLB Pipeline ranked the 22-year-old infielder first in the Reds’ system and sixth in the league overall. He made a fine impression in his debut with Triple-A Louisville, too, slashing .310/378/.509 with six home runs and eight stolen bases in 193 plate appearances. A call-up seemed inevitable at some point in 2018, though the Reds will now have to shelve any immediate plans for the third baseman as he works through a lengthy recovery process in order to take the field sometime in 2019.

Impressive numbers notwithstanding, it’s been a rough year for Senzel. He missed nearly a month after another chronic bout of vertigo and logged just 21 games in Louisville before landing on the disabled list again. This appears to be the first significant injury of his professional career so far.