Mesoraco aiming to bounce back from injuries

Catcher limited to 18 starts behind plate over past two seasons

Mesoraco aiming to bounce back from injuries

CINCINNATI -- With one week left before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, general manager Dick Williams still might have another transaction or two left to make.

While one of those transactions was expected to be the addition of catching depth as a contingency for the rehabilitating Devin Mesoraco, signing a catcher to a Minor League deal before camp seems unlikely.

"I don't know if we'll know anything definitive on Devin until he gets on the field and in games," Williams said. "We continue to be encouraged by what we're seeing in the rehab process. He's taking batting practice. He's doing catching drills. We haven't had any setbacks there. I think the next step is getting him into games and seeing how he responds to games."

Mesoraco had right hip and left shoulder surgeries in 2016 and left hip surgery in 2015. He's been limited to 18 starts behind the plate the past two seasons.

Mesoraco catches Ruf stealing

The Reds will have six catchers in camp this spring, including Mesoraco, Tucker Barnhart and Rule 5 selection Stuart Turner on the 40-man roster. Barnhart stepped up and took on the regular catching duties last season and would do likewise this season, if there is a need.

"I don't see any major signing there," Williams said. "We'll just have to see how [Mesoraco] responds and whether or not we have enough guys to cover the issues. We'll have to assess how a guy like Turner performs, how Tucker's health is and how he's performing before we add more guys. Hopefully Devin will have a good spring and we'll be off and running."

Williams did not rule out other moves being made.

"We still have a spot or two in camp," he said. "We're still looking to see what need is most important, but we're down to the last spot or two."

The Reds are still working to sign former Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings to a Minor League contract with a camp invite.

"We're close on that," Williams said.

As for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who agreed to a Minor League contract and camp invite on Thursday to compete for a rotation spot, the deal isn't official just yet.

"It's more of a matter of logistics and getting the paperwork done," Williams said. "He's already out there. It will take a couple of days to get that physically signed."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.