Mesoraco resumes drills on road to recovery

Reds catcher back behind plate after dealing with soreness in left groin, hip flexor

Mesoraco resumes drills on road to recovery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- His first setback since June left hip surgery has been weathered and is seemingly behind him. Now, Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is back to resuming his preparation for Opening Day.

As first reported by MLB.com on March 5, Mesoraco had to miss a few days of camp drills and workouts because of minor soreness in his left groin and hip flexor. He is trying to come back from June 29 surgery that repaired a torn labrum on the same hip.

Mesoraco resumed batting practice a few days ago and in the last couple of days, he re-started catching drills. Next on the agenda is for him to catch in the bullpen.

Reds Spring Training information

"Everything feels good," Mesoraco said on Wednesday. "I'm on track to get out there at some point in the near future and be ready to go."

Mesoraco called the break from drills a precaution more than anything.

"I didn't expect to have to have to wait too much longer, but things happen," Mesoraco said. "I need to take it a little bit easy. I'm definitely excited and ready to get out there. I'm sick of sitting on the bench."

Mesoraco, 27, was limited to 23 games last season, including nine starts at catcher because of the hip issue -- originally described as an impingement. It was an unfortunate way to follow a breakout 2014 season in which he hit 25 home runs and was named to the National League All-Star team for the first time.

"I anticipate that he'll be playing here by the middle of the month," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think we hope to avoid any more setbacks with him in order to get him ready for Opening Day."

One thing that will not happen is Mesoraco getting some time to work out in left field. The thought was he could take fly balls and have a fallback position this season for days when he needed a breaking from catching.

"To get him up to speed to be able to play by Opening Day, I think he's going to have to focus almost completely on the catching stuff," Price said. "I think the outfield option is something that we will have to look at should there become something we need to be concerned about from a physical standpoint. I don't have any reason to change my mind on my expectations that he's going to play and be able to catch.

"If he was 100 percent from the beginning of Spring Training, he would have taken some balls in the outfield. I don't know how much I would have played him out there."

Mesoraco wasn't worried about having enough time to get ready for the season.

"There is really no hurry," Mesoraco said. "If I have to make up at-bats later in camp, that can always be done easily. I can go down to the Minor League [camp] or whatever."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.