Devin Mesoraco is feeling healthy, but Reds will take catcher's comeback from injury slowly

Posted at 1:30 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 13:30:55-05

GOODYEAR, Arizona -- Devin Mesoraco knows talking about his progress, his health, his flexibility or his strength is not going to convince anyone of anything.

“Until I start playing, everything is somewhat meaningless,” Mesoraco said.

That said, Mesoraco is doing well after shoulder and hip surgery last season. He’s pain-free. He feels more flexible than he did pre-surgery. He’s been working in Cincinnati with catching coach Mike Stefanski and third base coach Billy Hatcher.

“Everything’s been good,” Mesoraco said. “I’ve been working with Stef on catching. I’ve been hitting with Billy Hatcher. Everything up to this point has gone pretty smooth.”

RELATED: Can Mesoraco be everyday catcher again?

Mesoraco has been limited to 39 games over the last two seasons by surgery on both hips and left shoulder surgery. The Reds will not rush him.

“Everything will be pretty slow and gradual,” Mesoraco said. “But I’m doing everything hitting-wise, catching-wise. I shouldn’t have too much of a problem. They just want to limit volume.”

Mesoraco will work out Tuesday when the catchers and pitchers take the field.

“He'll be reintegrated into bullpen work, catching bullpens, but probably at a more tempered level than the other catchers in camp out of respect for his injuries,” manager Bryan Price said. “Maybe not so much because we feel he can't do it. I'm unwilling to feed him too much, too soon. So the goal will be very similar to last year, kind of spoon feed him his bullpen catching and his game catching and build him up at the back side of spring training."

As far as season goes?

“I don't think I would anticipate seeing him playing more than 50-60 percent on the front end of the season,” Price said. “That could be so much as the first month or it could be further based on how he's responding.”

TRAVIESO OUT: Right-hander Nick Travieso will not begin on a regular workout schedule.

“He is going to be starting a little bit slower because of a little bit of a shoulder setback he has,” Price said. “He’s going to be re-initiating his throwing program.

COZART OK: Shortstop Zack Cozart will not be limited this spring. Last year, he was coming off major knee surgery.

“He said he feels phenomenally well,” Price said. “I think we anticipated after that type of surgery that it would be until this year that we'd see him back to full speed again.”