Originally Posted by Kc61
The harm is to Mes, who will not get consistent at bats and will not get consistent work behind the plate.
40% of the time means 60% on the bench.
At this point, I don't see what Mes gains from this arrangement. He's already had "exposure" to the big leagues. What he needs now is playing time.
Mes is also coming off a very rocky year in 2012. Let him gain confidence at AAA. Let him work on his defense down there.
When does he come back up? We see how it goes for Mes, for the ballclub. Are there injuries? Does someone (Hanigan, Olivo, Mes) have a bad year, a great year. Lots of variables.
But to start things out, I don't see the advantage of the 60/40 arrangement. I'd send Mes to AAA, let him catch 80 percent of the games, let him hit third and get a lot of at bats. Then take it from there.
Then what happens in 2014? What happens in 2015? It isn't like Hanigan is an offensive force at all, and is turning 33 this year. Olivo has no plate discipline at all, and still had more XBH than Hanigan last year. Mesoraco is a (former) top-10 prospect in MLB, and (obviously) has the highest potential value of the trio.
I understand the idea that Mesoraco brings a lot of value to the table in his handling of the pitching staff, but at some point the idea of passing the torch needs to be brought up in a more material way than it is currently. Mesoraco in the minors to re-establish his value is a net loss for the Reds. He had a BABIP of .234 last year, and .188 the year before. Simply adjusting his BABIP makes him a more effective offensive player than either Hanigan or Olivo, so if the idea is to have an offensive catcher to compliment Hanigan's defense, then Mesoraco is the answer there.
However, the way it is currently set up I feel that the Reds are allowing a potential middle of the order catcher to be blocked by a player who is "good enough to not be replaced" rather than critically analyzing the situation and trying to figure out the best situation going forward for the team as a whole. At some point Hanigan is going to need to be replaced, and leaving Mesoraco in the minors until that happens in one, two, three years because Hanigan is a great game-caller and defensive catcher seems like a poor plan from my point of view.