Mets Pitchers

NY Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco has focused on learning his new pitching staff

Category: Mets Pitchers Written by MetsNews / May 13, 2018

NY Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco has focused on learning his new pitching staff

PHILADELPHIA — As the Mets traveled from Cincinnati to Philadelphia on Wednesday, new catcher Devin Mesoraco stayed behind to prepare for his move to New York.

While he and his wife, Kira, packed up their belongings in boxes, Mesoraco also set aside some time to watch the new collection of arms he will be working with.

Later that night while he waited in the airport for his flight to Philadelphia, Mesoraco again had his phone out to watch videos and take notes.

“When you’re coming in and you’re new, you want to show these guys you care about them and you put the time and effort in to help their career," Mesoraco said after hitting a homer in Friday's 3-1 win over the Phillies. Saturday's game never started due to rain and then was postponed until August. "That’s my main focus right now.”

As the Mets have installed Mesoraco as their starting catcher, the 29-year-old has spent most of his time attempting to learn more about his new staff. Mesoraco has done a nice job with the pitching staff so far, and is 1-for-9 in three games.

“He’s making it look easy," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said "You watch him behind the plate and he’s really leading the pitcher. He’s really emphatic on where he wants the ball and his target. He’s got a lot of energy back there and that makes pitchers feel comfortable. We’ve seen that in the two games he’s caught the energy, the way he’s calling the game getting his glove where he wants the ball. Those are important traits for a catcher. …He’s comfortable calling a game and he game plans really well."

Unlike other position players, it's tough for a catcher when he gets traded since he has to learn about a brand new set of arms. Other position players can just do what they normally do while learning signs, but a catcher has to get a feel for how a certain pitcher's pitches move, and what pitches he likes to throw in certain situations.

Mesoraco benefited from Thursday's off day, that allowed him to spend plenty of time watching video. He's primarily focused on the relievers so far. Using his cellphone — he said the screen was big enough to get the job done — he watched clips of the last eight to 10 appearances of about six to seven relievers against either righties or lefties.

The catcher also arrived early Saturday to Citizens Bank Park to analyze film.

Mesoraco noted, though, that the video sessions can only help so much until he gets behind the plate and actually sees the pitches first-hand.

Following Friday's win, he spoke to closer Jeurys Familia to learn why he threw so many four-seam fastballs compared to his normal output. 

"These guys are all here for a reason and I’m just trying to learn them. They’ve had success up here and I just want to learn what they do," Mesoraco said Friday night. "I’m not going to come in and say, 'hey, this is what we got to do,' or things like that. Just learning them and what their mentality is and where their best location is with the fastball, what they can do behind in the count. … It’s been a 72-hour crash course but I’m going to continue to work and put the time in.”

Mesoraco earned praise for how he worked with the pitching staff in his first two starts. He helped Zack Wheeler to a six-inning, one-run outing against the Reds on Wednesday, and the Mets held the Phillies in check in Friday's 3-1 victory.

"Mes called a nice game back there and I felt like I’ve thrown to him a few times now," Wheeler said Wednesday. "Always good when you have that camaraderie with somebody. Nice game and was able to hit my spot today and go from there.”

The Mets acquired Mesoraco to provide an offensive upgrade compared to what they had been receiving from Jose Lobaton and Tomas Nido, but Mesoraco is not concerning himself with his offensive production. He knows the Mets are built to win on the strength of their pitching, and it's on him to get the best out of these pitchers he barely knows.

"It isn’t like I haven’t caught pitchers that have the same style of pitches," Mesoraco said. "Got to put in the work, time and effort to really get to know these guys the best way you can. I’ll continue to do that. That’s a long process to get a great feel for guys.”

 

Published at Sun, 13 May 2018 01:18:42 +0000

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