The Cincinnati Reds have been without outfielder Jesse Winker and Brad Brach for a few weeks, and Art Warren for about seven weeks. Things are moving in the right direction for all three of them.
Art Warren is expected to begin a rehab assignment beginning tomorrow. Over the weekend manager David Bell noted that Warren would be heading out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville starting on Tuesday. After beginning the year in the minors, Warren joined Cincinnati in mid-May for two games and then came back in the second week of June and stayed up for the next month until he hit the injured list. In his 18 games he allowed runs in just two of them and had a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched while striking out 21 batters and walking six.
Brad Brach has missed the last three weeks. He last pitched on August 7th. Brach has been throwing bullpen sessions and is reportedly getting close to getting out there in games. Brach got out to an outstanding start to the year once he joined the Reds. In his first 20 games he had a 2.25 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 20.0 innings. But he really struggled in the last month that he was active, posting an ERA of 13.00 in 13 games that covered 9.0 innings with as many walks as strikeouts.
Jesse Winker is still probably a bit further away. He is throwing baseballs again. He has not begun to swing yet, though. That is the next step for him and it should be soon, but manager David Bell did not have an exact day for when that would begin.
Winker coming back could be very beneficial for the lineup if he can return and perform as expected. This year the Triple-A season goes much deeper into September than it usually does. In normal years it tends to end the first few days of the month, but this year the season won’t end until October 3rd. If needed, Winker (or any other player) could get rehab games in during the month that in past years simply didn’t exist.