The Cincinnati Reds' primary catcher Ryan Hanigan has landed on the DL with an oblique injury, opening the door for Devin Mesoraco to get increased playing time.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reported that Hanigan strained his left oblique on Friday night against the Florida Marlins. According to manager Dusty Baker, the injury actually occurred when Hanigan reached for an Aroldis Chapman fastball:
"He did that on the pitch to [Rob] Brantly when he struck out on a high fastball from [Aroldis] Chapman. [Hanigan] went up to get it," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Hanigan had already been struggling with a sore right thumb and is hitting just 3-for-38 on the season. Veteran Corky Miller was called up to take Hanigan's place on the roster, but it is 24-year-old Mesoraco who should get the majority of the starts in Hanigan's place. Although disappointed about losing Hanigan, Mesoraco sounded ready to seize the opportunity:
"You definitely don't want to see Hani hurt, because he means a lot to the team," Mesoraco said. "But I always felt, and still feel like, I'm an everyday player. If that's what comes of this, I'll jump right in and take care of business."
After hitting .279/.359/.472 over 576 plate appearances at Triple-A, Mesoraco struggled as Hanigan's backup last season, compiling a .218/.288/.352 line in 184 PA. Mesoraco was ranked as the number 14 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com prior to the start of the 2012 season and should now get the chance to show whether he can live up to expectations.
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