Renda makes Cincinnati Reds debut one to remember

There’s easing into a new situation, and then there’s what happened to Tony Renda.

The newest Red made his major league debut on Tuesday against St. Louis, and it wasn’t pinch-hitting in the fifth inning of a blowout. No, manager Bryan Price sent the 25-year-old infielder up to face hard-throwing veteran Jonathan Broxton with nobody out, runners on first and second and Cincinnati trailing, 5-4, in the eighth inning.

What was going through his mind?

“Nothing, really,” said Renda, who was promoted from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the day. “I knew I had a job to do. There was a mound visit, so I got a chance to take it all in.”

Renda, so new to the Reds that his bio on the team’s website didn’t include a head shot as recently as before Wednesday’s game, laid down an effective bunt to the right side of the mound and reached to load the bases on St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams’ throwing error.

Renda, who was acquired from the Yankees during the off-season as part of the package for Aroldis Chapman, said he felt more nervous standing on the steps in the dugout waiting to take the field.

“Once I got to the field and the on-deck circle, I was fine,” said Renda, the 11th player to make his major league debut with Cincinnati this season.

The 2012 Washington Nationals second-round pick had his wife, mother, brother-in-law and four other family members in attendance.

“There were a lot more watching on television,” he said, adding that his phone had blown up with text messages. “I still have about 90 to look at.”

Experienced Devin: Catcher Devin Mesoraco knows enough about hip surgery to not be afraid of it.

Mesoraco has been in the clubhouse the past two days, hobbling around on a crutch just more than two weeks after having surgery on July 18 to repair the labrum in his left hip — the same surgery he had on his right hip in June of 2015.

“I’m doing good,” he said. “I think this one is easier, at least to this point, which is what you would pretty much expect. I had a lot more strength going into it. We didn’t have the problems that we had the last time.”

The most recent surgery, which followed surgery in May to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, was as much preventative as it was repair, and Mesoraco expects that it will improve his range of motion – once he gets back behind the plate.

“It (stinks),” said Mesoraco, who signed a $28 million, four-year contract with the Reds in January 2015. “The Reds signed me to that contract and expected me to be out there playing and helping the young pitchers.”

Rehab man: Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon, who's been on the disabled list since June 22 with shoulder issues, threw 20 pitches to hitters before Wednesday's game and is expected to be sent on a rehab assignment. He expects to be groomed to pitch in relief, but Price left open the possibility that innings issues that would force the Reds to limit the use of some younger pitchers could open up some starts for Simon and other pitchers in September, including prospects Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett.

Next: The Reds are scheduled to wrap up the series with the Cardinals and the brief three-game home stand with a 12:35 p.m. game today. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan (6-8, 4.68 earned-run average) is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season against St. Louis. Former Red' right-hander Mike Leake (8-8, 4.50) is the Cardinals' scheduled starter.