This afternoon the Cincinnati Reds released a statement that former All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco underwent surgery on his right hip and would be ready to resume catching activities in January. This is not the same hip that he had operated on already. Two years, two different hip surgeries. For a catcher. I’m not a doctor, but that doesn’t sound like it’s going to be good for the long term ability to stay at the position.

After spending most of the 2012 season on the bench, and then splitting the 2013 season with Ryan Hanigan (in which Mesoraco only got a majority of the playing time when Hanigan went down with injury), Devin Mesoraco had a break out year in 2014 when he was given a full workload for a catcher. He went out and hit .273/.359/.534 with 50 extra-base hits in 114 games played. He made the All-Star team that year and posted the highest OPS+ of any Red not named Joey Votto since 2003 – and even that was in a 91 game sample by Jose Guillen.

Since the 2014 season ended, Mesoraco has managed to play in just 39 games and he’s hit .158 while battling both a hip injury and a shoulder injury (that also required surgery). His inability to stay on the field has been something that’s really set the team behidn the 8-ball, as they had planned on him being the everyday catcher moving forward after his All-Star season.

Tucker Barnhart has stepped in this season and held his own on both sides of the ball, and at this point is probably the safer bet to be the catcher for the next few years than Mesoraco is. The Reds seem to think that Mesoraco will be able to return to catching, but at this point I’m not nearly as sold on it, especially for the long haul.

The organization attempted to play him in left field for a brief amount of time in 2015 while on a minor league rehab assignment, but it didn’t last long as he wound up taking the required hip surgery. If he’s unable to catch full time, the team is going to want to find a place for him to get some additional at-bats.

While there’s been some chatter about adding the designated hitter to the National League, it seems that’s died down quite a bit and would be a big surprise if that were to happen at this point. Should the Reds consider trying him back in left or right field? Could third base be an option if Eugenio Suarez can’t figure out things on both sides of the ball in the near-term future?

The future for Devin Mesoraco seems quite uncertain at this point. As I said, I’m not a doctor, but coming off of back-to-back seasons with serious hip surgeries for a catcher would certainly lead one to guess he’s probably not going to be a catcher on anywhere near an everyday basis. If his bat can return to form, or even anything remotely close to it, it’s one that the team desperately could use in their lineup. They will need to try and find a spot for it.

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