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  1. Dusty Baker is a terrible manager? Get right out of town

    Comment by Stringer Bell — June 21, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

  2. Hanigan’s defense and game-calling are by all accounts excellent and though I have no way to prove it I strongly believe that the success and stability of the Reds’ rotation these past two seasons has something to do with his presence. The kid is still learning from him. Hanigan catches Cueto, Bailey, and Arroyo like he has for years; Mes gets Leake and Latos. In a few seasons Mes will have as much experience with Latos as Hanigan has with Arroyo. I follow the Reds closely and I don’t think there’s any sentiment among the fans, media, or Internet punditry that Hanigan is getting too much playing time. In short: nothing is f***ed here.

    Comment by CB — June 21, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  3. However if you would like to jeer Cozart hitting second then by all means, farrr Dusty.

    Comment by CB — June 21, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  4. Even if that’s the case, you could still be sacrificing long term potential at the catcher position for a year or two of short term success. I’m probably not knowledgeable enough to know which makes more sense, but it is still a risk/reward situation

    Comment by Matt — June 21, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

  5. I think this is a fair point, but the Reds are a small-market team built to win now. They need to stockpile wins now because they might not mean as much in a few seasons when the slumbering behemoth in Chicago awakens.

    Comment by CB — June 21, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  6. It’s also worth mentioning that Grandal (who was supposedly behind Mesoraco on the depth chart) has 298 PA since Opening Day 2012. Mesoraco has 327 in the same time frame. Grandal didn’t debut until June of 2012 and served a 50 game suspension this year. I’m not saying the Reds traded the wrong catcher, it’s just incredible to look at the playing time differences.

    Comment by Eric — June 21, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

  7. Dusty Baker was quoted last year saying that Des Mes would be a cleanup hitter for the Reds at some point in the future. So I don’t think the organization has intentions to continue having him catch only 2/5 of the starting rotation. I can tell you that right now Des Mes is a notch or 2 above Hannagan as a hitter, but markedly below him as both a pitch caller and as a defensive catcher. Mes has the gracefulness of a gorilla any time he has to come out from behind the plate (see bobbled balls, awkward diving catches on pop-ups and indecisiveness in calling off position players on bunted balls). In short he’s still learning and needs to improve a lot to rip Hannagan of his starting gig.

    Comment by Luke — June 21, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

  8. I’d also point out that Hanigan’s ‘putrid 51 WRC+’ is a little misleading. He had a -44 WRC+ playing hurt in April. Came off the DL and hit a more respectable 94 WCR+ since. Going forward, the 94 or higher seems more in line with what you are going to get out of Hanigan, and Mesoraco has not shown that ability at the major league level. And Hanigan’s defense and rapport with the pitchers is grossly underrated.

    Comment by Iron — June 21, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

  9. The Reds bench calls the game for both catchers, so any game calling is a wash for the most part. The catcher will decide the second sign he gives, but the first sign is always from the Reds bench.

    As for the “no one thinks Hanigan is getting too much playing time”, you are incorrect there. Plenty of people feel that way. You just seem to have missed it.

    Comment by Doug Gray — June 21, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  10. The Reds bench calls the pitches for both catchers. This mystical “Hanigan is a great game caller” needs to stop. He doesn’t call his game. Neither does Mesoraco. Neither did Corky Miller when he was up earlier this year.

    Comment by Doug Gray — June 21, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  11. And you can say Hanigan only has ‘5.6 career WAR’ or you could point out his 2.7 WAR last year, behind only Votto and Phillips on the 98 win Reds position players.

    Comment by Iron — June 21, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

  12. Defensively, Mesoraco doesn’t pass the eye test. Horrible framing. They probably figure that Hanigan is better and since their objective is to win baseball games now, Meso is better off on the pine.

    Comment by JAC — June 21, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  13. Ok, not ‘no one’, but certainly not many. Reds fans mostly support Hanigan as an unspectacular but serviceable catcher who deserves the job until Mesoraco proves otherwise, which he hasn’t done. There was a little push from fans in the other direction in April when Hanny was just awful and Mesoraco was hitting well, but that has pretty much silenced for the last two months.

    Comment by Iron — June 21, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

  14. I don’t know where you follow the Reds at, but it must be different places than I do.

    Comment by Doug Gray — June 21, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

  15. CB, you’re mistaken. If you were on twitter, there’s a predominant sentiment that Hanigan needs to play less. Latos and Leake are having no issues holding down opposing offenses with Mesoraco behind the dish.

    Comment by Rick — June 21, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  16. Hanigan has never hit for power. But his on base percentage has always been high, and for the past four? seasons he has a higher walk/strikeout ratio. He is an excellent defensive catcher, and Mes is, as someone said, still learning. In my opinion, Hanigan’s defense outweighs Mesoraco’s offense at this point.

    Comment by — June 21, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  17. The games? The radio? The Reds website? Cincinnati sportsbars? The water-cooler? Granted, I would not expect to see you at the water-cooler, but the consensus is pretty strong, I am surprised you are unaware of it.

    Comment by Jason — June 21, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  18. Hanigan actually isn’t a free agent until after 2014. He signed a 2-yr deal thru 2013, but he’s got one more year of arb eligibility. I only add this to note that instead of “he might be back,” we should say he definitely will be back, which could continue to hinder Mesoraco.

    Comment by Dallas — June 21, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  19. The official Reds website? Really? Those are the people you want to listen to? The fans on a teams official website or the people handing out at sports bars or the water cooler at your work?

    Go read the places where the educated fans write/hang out. While there is certainly plenty of people there who are on the Hanigan bandwagon, there are plenty on the “get Mesoraco the 60/40 split of the time instead of the other way around” too.

    Comment by Doug Gray — June 21, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

  20. I’m with CB and Iron. I have no problem with Hanigan holding the fort until Mes breaks out offensively. Hanigan’s defense- particularly in the run game (this year 55% CS vs 24% for Mes) and blocking balls- makes me feel nice inside.

    Comment by Hello — June 21, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

  21. How tough is it for a guy to break out offensively sitting 3 and 4 days in a row?

    That is the biggest gripe. Give him 3 months of consistent playing time and see what happens. Saying he hasn’t taken the job doesn’t do much for a lot of us because he simply isn’t getting any sort of consistent playing time and he is batting 8th, where he gets fewer pitches to hit than anywhere in the lineup because guys are pitching around him (and Hanigan for that matter) because the pitcher is next.

    Comment by Doug Gray — June 21, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

  22. I’ve never put much stock into the ‘Player X only sucks because he isn’t getting to play enough. Play him every day and then he’ll be great all of a sudden.’ Never seems to work that way. You want more playing time, earn it by excelling in the role you’ve been given.

    The crux of the Mesoraco should play more argument presented here seems to be that he should be played in place of a guy who is playing better than he is simply because he was once a highly touted prospect. I say he can wait a year to get the 60% because he hasn’t shown he’s ready for more.

    Comment by Jason — June 21, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

  23. Was I the only one who was shocked to see that Jeff Mathis was once a top 25 prospect?

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — June 21, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

  24. How does Tony Sanchez stack up to Mesoraco at this point– both 25, one rotting on a MLB bench most of the time and one putting up a .306 .389.563 .951 line at AAA and making his MLB debut (probably tomorrow)? Who’d you rather have?

    Comment by Retirenutting — June 21, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

  25. He’ll play when I’m– er, when he’s good and ready. You really can’t trust anyone under 30, you know.

    Comment by Johnnie B. — June 22, 2013 @ 1:09 am

  26. Mesoraco never hits 8th Doug, you know that

    Comment by Kris — June 22, 2013 @ 7:26 am

  27. I just don’t believe this is true. Calls may come from the dugout on occasion when Hanigan catches, but not with regularity. They come with more regularity for Mesoraco.

    Comment by Kris — June 22, 2013 @ 7:28 am

  28. I think the Reds should of kept Corky Miller.

    First, None of these catchers can hit

    Second, Corky can pitch. The Reds bullpen needs help

    Third, Corky sports a nice mustache aka Mr Redlegs

    Comment by MisterRedLeg — June 22, 2013 @ 11:02 am


    I am so glad Dusty is coaching this team. It’s stuff like this that makes me hate him so much. He will single-handedly keep the Reds from winning anything ever …

    Comment by AnthonySoprano — June 22, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  30. You may not believe it, but it is. Pay close attention to Hanigan next game. He looks over to the bench before every single pitch.

    Comment by Check the dugout — June 22, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  31. Dear Mr Saprano

    Thanks for the post and the comments but

    Your dead to me

    Comment by Dusty Baker — June 22, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

  32. Why not let Mes get regular AB’s in the minors?

    Comment by okra — June 22, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

  33. I never thought I’d defend Dusty Baker, but 40% of the playing time to prove himself and handling 2 of the starters seems very reasonable to me. I’d hardly call that buried.

    Comment by Baltar — June 23, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

  34. That’s definitely not true. Please post your evidence to support the statement that the Reds bench calls the pitcher’s games. I’ve read interviews with both Hanigan, Arroyo, and Latos that state the opposite.

    Comment by al — June 23, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  35. No, he doesn’t. I have checked. He looks over at the dugout on every pitch when there is a runner on base, because the bench calls all of the defensive alignments and plays. With no one on base he doens’t check every pitch.

    Comment by al — June 23, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

  36. Has Fangraphs (or anyone?) ever done a study on the idea of regular playing time? It seems like it’s a fairly widely held belief that there’s a “rhythm” that you can only get when you’re playing 5+ times per week (despite the fact that these guys hit every day multiple times a day off machines etc).

    It would probably be a tough thing to look at because obviously, better players play more. But you could look at catchers specifically, and do a year-toyear thing with consecutive days played.

    As for Mesoraco, plenty of guys have hit their way into this league and off the bench. It’s not like he he’s in uncharted territory. Until he is observably better than Hanigan, it’s not going to happen, and arguably shouldn’t.

    Comment by al — June 23, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  37. David Ross has 4 consecutive years with an OPS+ north of 100 and less than 200 PA. Just sayin.

    Comment by al — June 23, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  38. I agree- this seems a little absurd to me. Calling pitches from the bench seems crazy inefficient and also gives the opposing teams the opportunity to steal the signs. Would love some more info on this if anyone has it.

    Comment by Hello — June 24, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  39. Since this is so intriguing to me, I just literally did several hours of searching, and the only stuff I could find was some vague reference to something Dusty mentioned in an interview years ago, and Reds’ forum posters reasserting each other’s claims without providing evidence:

    Curiously, as little as 6 weeks ago, Doug seemed to be under the assumption that the catchers called the games (… so the evidence must be fresh in his mind. Dammit, devulge, Doug!

    Comment by Hello — June 24, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

  40. Doug Gray is 100 right. How is Mesoraco supposed to develop sitting for 3 days… No other team does this with their top prospects… In fact, this is so bad that it makes one wonder, did the Reds draft their #1 pick to be a platoon player? I think the simple answer is no, and this lies at the fault of one Dusty Baker.

    Comment by Jared Roberts — June 24, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

  41. Nope. As soon as I saw it, my brain went, “What the…??? How the…??? Dang, baseball is crazy isn’t it?!?”

    Comment by Kevin Krueger — August 6, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

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