Braves-Reds preview

CINCINNATI — Cody Reed is taking his lumps at the major league level, but it is all part of the process.

The 23-year-old Cincinnati Reds left-hander, who came into this season ranked as the second-best prospect in the organization, owns an 8.39 ERA through five starts with 23 earned runs allowed in 24 2/3 innings.

Some flashes of brilliance are embedded in the rust, however. Reed (0-4) has fanned 29 batters, including nine in his big league debut to become the first Reds pitcher to reach that total in his first career start since Johnny Cueto in 2008.

Reed was among a trio of heralded left-handed pitching prospects acquired from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Cueto last July. On Tuesday, Reed will again search for his first win when he faces the Atlanta Braves, a club he has yet to face. Cincinnati is hoping for a more extended outing from Reed, who hasn't pitched past the fifth inning since going seven in his debut.

Rookie right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will start for Atlanta, and he will be facing the Reds for the first time. It will be Jenkins' second career start, with his other four major league appearances coming out of the bullpen this season.

In his only previous start, Jenkins threw 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball on July 6 at Philadelphia. He hasn't pitched since.

With the left-handed Reed on the mound for Cincinnati, the Braves are expected to go with Anthony Recker behind the plate. The rotation between Recker and A.J. Pierzynski is something that still is developing.

“We'll let Recker get the left-handers the next couple of days and see what we've got,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said Monday. “I thought he did a good job (Sunday). He was in synch with Julio (Teheran), and he can swing the bat. They'll both play. A.J. was a big addition for us.”

Speaking of catching, the big news Monday from the Reds' side is that Devin Mesoraco underwent surgery repair a torn labrum in his right hip. The procedure was performed in New York by hip specialist Bryan Kelly, who also repaired Mesoraco's hip impingement in June 2015.

Mesoraco had his second shoulder surgery after undergoing a procedure on a torn left labrum in May. He is expected to begin catching drills in mid- to late January.

In 2014, Mesoraco, 28, became the first Reds catcher since Hall of Famer Johnny Bench to hit 25 homers and drive in 80 runs in a season.

“We certainly would like him to stay healthy and keep him on the field,” manager Bryan Price said. “It's always a crapshoot with any player. Hopefully, what he's doing is putting all this behind him so he can string together some healthy seasons.”

Tucker Barnhart has been getting the bulk of the playing time with Ramon Cabrera serving as an able backup.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto will be looking to continue his hot streak on Tuesday after going 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs in an 8-2 win over the Braves in the series opener. Votto who batted only .200 in May, is off to a blistering start after the All-Star break, 8-for-15 (.533).

“I've had seasons where I've started off really well, poorly, everything in between,” Votto said. “You have to take every challenge that comes your way. Early in the season, I struggled hitting fastballs over the plate. That's step one, and go from there.”