I’ve said repeatedly that the return of a fully-healthy and productive Devin Mesoraco could be key in accelerating this rebuilding process. After all, if Mesoraco were to return to form, that’s an All-Star hitter in the middle of the Cincinnati lineup that wasn’t there the last couple of years.

Alas, you’d be foolish to bet the ranch on Mesoraco returning completely to form. And this quote from GM Dick Williams makes me a little less optimistic:

“We’re optimistic he’ll open the season ready for catch, but probably on some sort of schedule. We’d probably prevent him going out there and catching the first 14 games of the season. It’s probably some sort of timeshare arrangement to make sure he’s eased back in. It’s hard to say for sure. The doctors said that really mid-January is when they’d be able to tell us with a lot more precision what the timetable looks like.”

Maybe I’ve missed it, but this is the first time I’ve heard anything about Mesoraco other than the Reds’ insistence that he’s going to be fully healthy and able to catch in 2017. Forgive me if, after the last couple of seasons, I’m pessimistic about Mesoraco coming back, even if I’m extremely hopeful. I miss Devin.

(Partly because he’s been so good to Redleg Nation over the years. Here’s his interview with us before that magical 2014 season, and here’s his very first interview with us, all the way back in 2010, when he was moving his way up the Reds’ minor league system. He’s a great kid.)

Anyway, our friend Wick Terrell had some comments about Mesoraco, but then he also made an interesting point about Dick Williams:

It’s not something we’re at all surprised by – Mes not being able to be the team’s full time catcher anymore – but I do think hearing it laid out this explicitly this early in the offseason is a reflection of Williams as the team’s voice instead of the tight-lipped Walt Jocketty. This exact kind of news is exactly the kind of thing Jocketty kept close to the vest, and while the overall M.O. of the front office might not have been different, I do get the impression this is something we wouldn’t have heard until Spring Training, if said publicly at all. Regardless, it’s another depressing revelation about Mesoraco, who has hit exactly zero home runs since his breakout 2014 campaign.

Wick is exactly correct. I think we’ve already seen, read, and heard more quotes from Dick Williams in his short reign as Reds general manager than we saw from his predecessor, Walt Jocketty, in eight years at the helm. We can argue about whether this is good or bad — there are times, certainly, when the brass needs to keep their cards close to the vest — but for those of us writing about the Reds on a daily basis, it’s a godsend.

So kudos to you, Dick Williams. Keep us updated on Mesoraco’s recovery.