Devin Mesoraco stands out even among the rash of injured Cincinnati Reds. The catcher is the only Red to make two trips to the disabled list this season.
Mesoraco started the season on the 15-day DL because of an oblique strain, and he went back on the DL on Saturday after straining his left hamstring the night before against the Atlanta Braves while rounding third base to scoring a run.
The loss of Mesoraco was a major blow to the Reds, who were swept in the series to fall to 11-14. He went on an 11-game hitting streak after coming off the DL on April 7 and was leading the team with a .468 average. Mesoraco has three homers and 13 RBIs in 13 games.
“It just isn’t something that’s going to be better in three to five days, it’s probably every bit of 10 to 14,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Tucker Barnhart, who filled in for Mesoraco to start the season, was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday. He will back up Brayan Pena, who started the last two games of the series with the Braves.
Mesoraco grabbed the back of his leg and fell down before scoring Friday.
“In the next couple of days, we’ll see how it responds to the treatment and everything,” he said. “My goal is to be back on the 16th day. I want to be back as soon as I possibly can be. That’s my focus at this point.”
The Reds began the season with eight players on the DL.
Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall are the only Reds who started the season but are currently active.
Alfredo Simon, who is 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA and .172 opponents’ batting average, will face the Chicago Cubs tonight night as the Reds return home to open a week-long homestand. It will be his first start since a $15 million civil suit was filed against him in Washington, D.C., by a woman claiming that she was sexually assaulted during the Reds’ road trip to play the Nationals in April 2013. Simon started against the Cubs on April 18 in Chicago allowed just four hits and an unearned run over six inning in a 4-1 victory.
Johnny Cueto, coming off consecutive complete-game victories over the Pittsburgh Pirates, struck out 11 while lowering his ERA to 1.15 with eight scoreless innings Sunday against the Braves. He has allowed just one run over his last 30 innings after giving up three hits and three walks in the no-decision. It was the fifth career double-figure strikeout game for Cueto, who fanned a career-high 12 in his three-hit shutout of the Pirates on April 16.
Todd Frazier, who left Friday’s game in the fifth inning because of tightness in his left groin, returned to the Reds’ lineup on Sunday against the Braves after missing his first game of the year. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Aroldis Chapman, hit in the face by a line drive during spring training, is scheduled to pitch in a second live BP Tuesday in Cincinnati after throwing 43 pitches over two innings Saturday in Atlanta. “I think it was a big step to throw without a protective screen for the first time,” manager Bryan Price said.