Mesoraco is a catcher’s Harvey

On Tuesday, Sandy Alderson pulled the old “kill two birds with one stone” trick on his roster, as he shed a decaying Matt Harvey while acquiring a veteran catcher. This trade happened to be with the Cincinnati Reds, who the Mets just happened to be playing that night. They acquired Devin Mesoraco, a one time All-Star that has seen his career decline due to injury. Now, read the second part of that sentence over again. That sentence could easily be used to describe the player the Mets traded away to get Mesoraco. Did Sandy Alderson acquire the catcher’s version of Harvey?

Mesoraco was drafted by the Reds as their first round pick in 2007. He quickly became known as “the groundhog” to the Cincinnati fan base, as he is from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In the minor league system of the Reds, Mesoraco began to make a rise through the system. After spending about four years in the minor leagues, he finally received that special call to the big leagues on September 3rd, 2011. Over the next few years Mesoraco improved his game to where he was selected to the 2014 All-Star game. He finished that season with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs. After 2014, the injuries started to pile up for the backstop, and he has not played more than 60 games since that season.

We all know the narrative of how Harvey was the shining star that crashed back down to Earth for the Mets. It is interesting to draw comparisons between him and Mesoraco however. They were both first round draft picks, and at one time they were both considered the top prospect in their organization. Both have also seen injuries limit them and derail their career after making their lone appearance in the All-Star game. Most relevant now is that they both probably needed a change of scenery in the worst way possible.

Of course the one difference between the two players is the reputation that they carry. The feuds between Harvey and the Mets have been as public as can be, which led to many Mets fans begging for the departure of their former starlet. Mesoraco of course comes with less fanfare, and a lot less baggage. I don’t know what the attitude towards Mesoraco is in the Reds fan base, but he never seemed to cause a storm like the one that Harvey constantly brought around the locker room.

By acquiring Mesoraco, Alderson attempted a quick fix on this lineup that desperately needed a catcher. Yes, they rid themselves of Matt Harvey, which was a big deal to many Mets fans. In acquiring Mesoraco, the Mets in turn acquired the catching version of Harvey. Much like the Reds have hope that they can salvage something out of Harvey, the Mets are hoping that they can salvage something out of the once promising catcher from Cincinnati. The two may be similar in the way that their career arcs have went, but I’m sure we won’t hear Mesoraco say “I’m a starting catcher. I’ve always been a starting catcher.”

14 comments for “Mesoraco is a catcher’s Harvey

  1. Madman
    May 12, 2018 at 8:39 am

    If only the Mets had spent the money on Cobb or Lynn instead of Vargas.

  2. TexasGusCC
    May 12, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Madman, they would have lost their second round pick. It wasn’t just money.

    Dalton, what has my attention is the pitching results from Mesoraco’s two starts. I will be monitoring to see if this continues. He has bad grades as a pitch framer, but if he calls a better game than what we have seen so far, that would be in reality what the Mets needed.

    • Mike Walczak
      May 12, 2018 at 11:02 am

      Where on the Met prospect lists do you even see a second rounder.

      • TexasGusCC
        May 12, 2018 at 11:32 pm

        They hit sometimes and miss more often, but hopefully they do better this year with Minaya running the show.

        But of the second round picks I remember, Alonso is the best, Vientos seems pretty good, Lindsey is talented but perpetually hurt, and that is all I can remember off the top of my head.

    • Dalton Allison
      May 13, 2018 at 1:18 am

      Pitch framing is vital to the team, especially with runs coming at such a premium.

  3. May 12, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Dear madman have you not seen Cobb or Lynn’s numbers? They also cost a draft pick and international free agent money I have no issue not signing either guy.

  4. May 12, 2018 at 9:27 am

    And let’s not forget that both Cobb and Lynn have been terrible so far, too.

    Dalton – I dig the Groundhog nickname.

    One thing that stands out immediately about Mesoraco is that he’s been behind the plate for 19 innings and the opposition has scored just three runs. And that was with Wheeler and Matz starting and the games being in hitter’s ballparks in Cincy and Philly.

    As bad as Lobaton and Nido have been offensively, it’s possible they were more harmful to the club from a defensive/game calling POV. If Mesoraco instills confidence in Matz and Wheeler – that will be a great thing.

    • TexasGusCC
      May 12, 2018 at 11:33 pm

      +1 on Mesoraco.

    • Dalton Allison
      May 13, 2018 at 1:20 am

      It’s interesting because he is coming from Cincy, where there is a very low amount of high quality pitching. In New York, he gets his Syndergaard and deGrom, but maybe the experience of helping struggling pitchers will come in handy.

  5. Pete in Iowa
    May 12, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Mesoraco seems like a selfless team guy to me, a far cry from Harvey. I like his arm back there. Last night he fired a strike to Rosario which nearly nailed a base stealer. In fact, would have had the guy if Rosario would have held on to the ball and kept the tag on him. It was even more impressive when you consider that Matz is completely unable to hold runners on at all.
    I watched Harvey pitch last night. he looked pretty good. He had godd velocity and his breaking pitches were fairly sharp. If anyone cares….

  6. royhobbs7
    May 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

    And the Coupons added another $5 Mil to their coffers (probably the most important part of the trade in their minds!).

    • Name
      May 12, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      No they didn’t. Mesoraco is making a lot more than Harvey this year, $13.125 mil to be exact, but the Reds are picking up the difference such that in the end the Mets only pay what Harvey was going to make.

  7. Mike Walczak
    May 12, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Harvey was going to leave at the end of the year even if he pitched well this year. At least they get to test a catcher. Maybe Mesoraco pans out. If he hits .250 and catches well, maybe the Mets resign him next year. Go Groundhog

  8. Mike Walczak
    May 12, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    OK, I take it back. Alonso was a second rounder.

    Does anyone thing that the Mets could bring him up this year? Maybe after an injury or when rosters expand?

    Or, he could take over for Agon Pipp.

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