McDonald: Devin Mesoraco May Be The Mets White Knight of Catching

Forget the Dark Knight of Gotham, the Mets may have found their White Knight of Catching.

Before the former Reds catcher came over last week, the catching position was a virtual black hole with career backup Jose Lobaton starting and a minor leaguer in Tomas Nido backing him up, after both Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki went down with injuries.

It may not have been as bad as Casey Stengel put it, when he said, “If you don’t have a catcher, you will have a lot of passed balls.” But it was close.

So, in the ultimate change of scenery trade, the pitching-poor Reds are taking a risk with Harvey and the Mets happily brought Devin Mesoraco over.

“He’s a threat at the plate, obviously,” said manager Mickey Callaway. “He’s probably energized coming over here. He’s excellent behind the plate.”

No matter what Matt Harvey does in Cincinnati. If he returns to be the Dark Knight of the Queen City or not, the Mets did well with acquiring Mesoraco for their former ace.

It’s a lot for a catcher to come over midseason. There’s obviously an adjustment period. Mike Piazza went through it back in 1998 and it takes time for a player to learn the staff and concentrate on his hitting.

Tonight, in the Mets 12-2 win over the Blue Jays, Mesoraco was an offensive force, reaching base all five time, going 2-2 with a homer and three RBI. Historically, this is the type of catcher the Mets are used to having behind the dish but haven’t seen in a few years.

Now, though, they may have a well-rounded catcher back and one the pitchers want to throw to on the mound.  

“It’s a great feeling,” Noah Syndergaard said of throwing to Mesoraco. “He’s the ultimate guy you want back there as a catcher. Great leadership and values. Just being able to control the game and great pitch selection as well.”

There’s a certain calm in Mesoraco’s voice, and you can tell he’s the type of guy who plays on an even keel. That’s important for a catcher, who is dealing with the highs and lows of his pitchers. That’s important and one round through the rotation, there’s nothing put positives from the staff.

“That’s the way I have been tough and that’s the way I do business,” Mesoraco said. “If we go out there and pitch well, we are going to win a lot of ball games. To me the ultimate compliment is if someone says, ‘I want to throw to that guy.’”

And Mesoraco has been making progress hitting as well. If you looked at him last Tuesday, when he pinch hit in the ninth inning, right after being traded, you saw a different hitter, who crouched down and had a lot of movement.

But working with hitting coach Pat Roessler, he made some changes.  

“I think I still have a lot of work to do. I give a lot of credit to Pat. We dug right in and watched a lot of video. My posture at the plate is the biggest thing. I had too much movement.”

The result, two home runs in four games and a night like tonight.

It’s a small sample, and hopefully Mesoraco can stay healthy, which was an issue the last three seasons for him. If he does, then the Mets may have their catching problem solved and hopefully that will translate to better pitching and a few more wins in the book.  

The White Knight to the rescue.




About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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