Devin Mesoraco won’t catch baseballs when some of baseball’s best gather in Washington, D.C., for the All-Star Game on Tuesday. Instead, he’ll sit poolside and catch plenty of rays.
The Mets catcher is not an All-Star, and he said he’s looking forward to spending time with his family while relaxing by the pool. He’d “rather go to the game,” but Mesoraco is just happy to be healthy enough to actually enjoy the time off.
“Going home, or going on vacation or doing whatever, it’s certainly nice to just get away from the field and relax a little bit,” Mesoraco said before Tuesday’s game against the Phillies at Citi Field. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a normal All-Star break just because I’ve been hurt the last couple years, but I’ll go home and relax, hit a couple times with my brother and be ready to go.”
The Mets will be off from July 16-19 before starting a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on July 20. Jacob deGrom is the Mets’ only representative in the Midsummer Classic, although Brandon Nimmo has been mentioned frequently as someone who was snubbed.
Mesoraco was an All-Star in 2014 while with the Reds but hasn’t produced at that same level since. That year, he hit .273/.359/.534 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs.
Time off near the midway point of the season can be refreshing for a player — especially a catcher, probably the most physically demanding position on the diamond — but Mesoraco said participating in the All-Star festivities isn’t necessarily physically taxing.
“I don’t think the game is a game where you waste a ton of energy,” Mesoraco said. “You enjoy the time, try to take it easy, relax. I think you get enough rest.”
And Mesoraco said he’d much rather go to the game, even at the expense of lounging outside.
“It’s a great honor,” he said. “You’re amongst all the other great players in the game. I would much rather go, for sure.”
Jerry Blevins said he welcomes the break because it’s a good way to recharge. He has extra incentive to go home to Findlay, Ohio, as his son, Ellis, was born on May 14. He said he’ll celebrate with friends and family who haven’t had a chance to meet the baby.
The lefthander won’t dedicate all his time to family, though. He said he’ll host his third annual free camp for kids, at which he’ll have about 250 campers for a full day of baseball activities. In previous years, each participant received an autograph from Blevins.
Blevins enjoys the opportunity to give back, but he’d also be honored with an All-Star nomination. Such an honor would be unlikely, by his own admission, and it’s mostly because of his role as a specialist out of the bullpen.
“The odds of me going, even if I’m having an unbelievable year, are very slim just because of my job,” Blevins said. “If I have a chance, I’d be more than honored to go.”
Unsurprisingly, the consensus in the Mets clubhouse seemed to be that participating in the All-Star celebration trumps the time off. Sure, sitting by the pool is a welcome change of pace during the grind of an MLB season, but going to the All-Star Game is better.
The Mets probably wouldn’t mind if they had a few more All-Stars, either.