Jesse Winker had his 12-game hitting streak come to an end on Wednesday against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He started a new hit streak on Friday night, going 1-4 with an RBI. But he left in the 7th inning of the game. After the game manager David Bell noted that his back had tightened up. Bell said that he hadn’t gotten an update as of the time he was speaking with the media, but hoped Winker would be back today. Winker still leads the National League in average, rocking a .370 mark as of Saturday morning. His OPS of 1.093 is also among the best in the league, coming in behind only Ronald Acuña Jr.
Update at 11:45am
Jesse Winker is not in the Cincinnati Reds lineup today. We’ll update this with more information once David Bell has his daily pregame zoom meeting with the media and has some more information.
Updated at 1:41pm
Jesse Winker spoke with the media prior to the game today.
“I’m feeling better today. I just feel like it was precautionary. Kind of spasmed up on me. Got some treatment immediately, started feeling better as the night progressed. Woke up feeling better. Hopefully just be able to get back in there tomorrow.”
“It’s definitely not anything to worry about. It’s just a back spasm. These things happen. It just kind of tightened up on me. We’ve got a great training staff here and they got me feeling a lot better today, so I’m thankful for them. Hopefully get back out there tomorrow. Should go through a regular day today and get back to playing.”
Joey Votto on his 300th home run
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman is a character. He’s had plenty of moments off of the field that really show the kind of personality he has – from wearing the Canadian Mountie uniform during an interview on MLB Network, to him dropping some amazing quotes – well after last nights game he showed up to his zoom interview wearing Sonny Gray’s high school football jersey that was entirely too small for him despite him not wearing any sort of pads.
On Friday night Joey Votto hit his 300th career home run, and it was a big one in the game, too, as it took the Reds from behind to ahead in the game. And he absolutely crushed the ball, too. The home run went 429 feet and came off of the bat at 113 MPH. When he got to the plate Eugenio Suárez was there waiting for him with a huge smile and a big hug. Nick Castellanos followed up with a hug of his own.
“When I crossed home plate, the support I received was shocking,” Votto said after the game. “I didn’t get teary-eyed or anything, but I was certainly emotional and grateful. I feel lucky to have such good teammates.”
The largest crowd of the year in Cincinnati noted the accomplishment, and made Votto exit the dugout for a curtain call. It took him a second, but eventually he got the message that the crowd was ready to cheer loudly once again before the next at-bat was going to take place.
“That they asked for it, it’s always an honor,” he said. “They’re very infrequent. I don’t remember the last time I had a curtain call.”
Shogo Akiyama on his rehab
On Friday night the Cincinnati Reds alternate site team was in Columbus as they round out their final set of scrimmages before the minor league season officially begins on Tuesday. Shogo Akiyama played for six innings in the game and had two singles in four at-bats on the night.
“Everything’s going well,” Shogo Akiyama said. “I have no pain. I’ve been able to rack up the at-bats and get the defensive innings as well. So far, so good”
When asked about how soon he could return, the answer was promising from the Reds outfielder.
“ASAP. The trainers have a plan and they have that plan laid out for me. I’m at a point right now where if they call me, I’m ready.”