Mets 2019 Auditions: Devin Mesoraco fighting for a starting role
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco will spend the rest of 2018 auditioning for a starting role in 2019 anywhere he can find one.
The New York Mets aren’t only auditioning players for their 2019 team. The losing season allows guys who may not return next year to show off what they can provide any team. For catcher Devin Mesoraco, he’s not only trying out for a new contract to rejoin the Mets. Mesoraco will spend the rest of 2018 attempting to win a starting job anywhere at all next year.
Thus far, Mesoraco has failed to secure a starting gig in the future. Above everything else, he comes across as the right-handed option in a platoon.
There are reasons to bring Mesoraco back. Since joining them in May, the starting rotation has been fabulous. Credit should go directly to the mound, but some of the wealth can be shared with Mesoraco. There is no doubt he upgraded this team over the Jose Lobaton/Tomas Nido platoon from the weeks prior.
Just because Mesoraco is currently hoping to land a platoon role at best doesn’t mean he has reached his ceiling. A tremendous finish to 2018 and maybe someone sees him as something more.
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The catching depth around Major League Baseball is incredibly shallow. You would have more luck drowning in a soup. Even a good team may view Mesoraco as one of the better per dollar players available in the free agent market. The bad ones surely will.
Mesoraco’s biggest challenge in the final few weeks is getting enough playing time. Fellow backstop Kevin Plawecki should receive a nice share of the innings behind the dish. He is also hoping to win an increased role in 2019.
The difference between these two is Plawecki has a job in 2019. At worst, the Mets employ him as their backup catcher. At best, he actually manages to win the Opening Day catcher spot.
Mesoraco is fighting for a lot more. His first trip to free agency doesn’t come at a time when he has been particularly consistent. Injuries have held him back for several years now. Unless he wins a Player of the Month Award, I’m not so sure too much will change.
Likely, Mesoraco settles for a reserve role in the offseason. This doesn’t mean he’s playing for nothing but pride. The better he plays, the better the team he could sign with.
August and September are marketing months for Mesoraco. He needs to show the Mets and everyone else there are more positive than negative times ahead.
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If unable to do this, Mesoraco will have failed his audition.