Originally Posted by Kc61
Yeah, I guess I just don't agree. I doubt that many contending teams would take a catcher as good as Hanigan and limit his games to advance somebody like Mes who performed pretty poorly last year.
If the Reds made the World Series last year, then maybe they would move on to Mes. Or if Mes had a better major league season in 2012, then yes.
But right now you are asking the Reds to reduce the time of an excellent defensive catcher who gets on base (albeit without power) in favor of a still raw prospect who had lots of problems last year. I think few contending teams would do so, particularly since the Reds are obviously dying to have a successful playoff run at long last.
I do think Mes would have a lot to gain from AAA this year -- he could gain back some confidence at the plate and could be coached more on his defense.
If Mes performs, his time will come sooner rather than later. But I wouldn't hand him 50 percent of the major league games to find out.
I agree with everything that you said, except that I'm not advocating a reduced role for Hanigan, just a more "real" role for Mesoraco, who deserves to do more than catch one game in a row and get 184 PAs in 80% of a season, and had a ridiculously low BABIP. Mesoraco, even after his poor showings so far at MLB, is projected for a higher OPS, wOBA, and WAR than Hanigan by every metric that I have seen. Basing the entire positional philosophy of the catchers around an abstract concept (albeit real) like pitcher preference or game calling seems like a poor approach given the caliber of prospect that Mesoraco is/was.
This would be like sending Frazier back to AAA because Rolen wanted to come back, and feeling that the leadership and defense that Rolen shows is more valuable than the potential increase that Frazier would provide. At some point players need a chance to perform, and I feel that it is time for Mesoraco to get that opportunity. Not in single game chances, not in pinch hitting, and not in AAA- in a real, live, MLB opportunity.