CINCINNATI — The two Reds who missed most of last season with injuries expect to be ready for spring training from the start. Catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Zack Cozart gave encouraging progress reports at Redsfest Friday.
“I would expect to be able to do everything from Day 1,” Mesoraco said. “I think everything will be just fine.”
Said Cozart: “The progress I’ve made from last month to now — in my mind I’m easily going to be ready for February 23.”
Mesoraco had surgery June 29 to relieve impingement in his left hip. He was limited to 23 games and did not catch after the first week of the season.
“I’m working out as a normal offseason to be honest,” Mesoraco said. “More hip exercises are incorporated in, but everything else is normal. I’ve been hitting. I started hitting and throwing.”
The biggest thing is getting the catchers’ squat.
“I’ve been squatting plenty,” he said. “I haven’t done blocking or throwing to the bases. A lot of squatting, squatting with weights. It feels great.”
Mesoraco has talked to former big league catcher Matt Trainor, who had the same surgery.
“I’ve talked to a few guys,” he said. “As long as you do everything you’re supposed to, everything should work out fine. (Trainor) gave me some suggestions. It’s a relatively new thing. It’s not common.”
Cozart had season-ending knee surgery June 11. He played in 53 games and hit .258 with eight home runs and 28 RBI. His injury was a devastating one.
But the recovery has gone remarkably well.
“I’m strong,” Cozart said. “I do cutting. I do agilities. I start taking dry swings next week. I start taking ground balls. I got brace today. I’ll get more in explosive things now.
“I feel great.”
Cozart saw Dr. Tim Kremchek Friday.