GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds manager Dusty Baker wasn't ready to declare rookie Devin Mesoraco his No. 1 catcher as of Tuesday morning."I don't know. He's one of two," Baker said. "Eventually, he's going to be No. 1." There's a good chance that the Reds will employ a tandem system with Mesoraco and veteran Ryan Hanigan. The tandem approach worked well the past three years with Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez. "There are certain guys that might work better with Hanigan than Mesoraco right now," Baker said. Mesoraco, 23, batted .180 in 18 games for Cincinnati last season as a September callup, after batting .289 with 15 home runs and 71 RBIs in 120 games for Triple-A Louisville. He's been praised for his efforts behind the plate and working with the pitchers.
The Reds' No. 1 prospect, Mesoraco has high expectations, the belief being he could become a special player for the team."He has a lot to learn in a short period of time. You hope he can be Buster Posey," Baker said. "There aren't a whole lot of Buster Poseys, but he also has Hanigan as a tandem here. If things don't work, how long do you stick with Mesoraco? You hope he's ready. You don't really know until you give him a chance."
Bray aiming for another healthy campaign
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds lefty reliever Bill Bray is coming off the best season of his career, and one of his healthiest. Bray's 79 appearances in 2011 led the club and were tied for second in the National League. He was 5-3 with a 2.79 ERA.Once again this offseason, the 28-year-old took steps to remain durable. In November, Bray also participated in a tour of Major League players that played exhibition games in Taiwan. "I played catch all winter and never stopped. I feel good," Bray said. "I took a week at the end of the season and a week off after I got back from Taiwan. But I played catch twice a week all winter until January, when the throwing program started." Bray, who had injuries that often set him back -- including Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2010 -- set a career high with 48 1/3 innings pitched in 2011. He appeared in 47 Reds victories, second to former closer Francisco Cordero. "A lot of people ask what my goals are or what I'm working on at Spring Training. To be honest, I'm just working on being healthy," Bray said. "When I stay healthy, I proved I could do the job last year. I know if I'm healthy, everything will take care of itself."