Jesse Winker last played on August 15th. He left the game against the Phillies in the third inning. He was then placed on the injured list with an intercostal strain. Winker, an All-Star for the first time in 2021, was hitting .307/.395/.560 on the year when he headed to the injured list.
On Friday afternoon prior to the game Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said that Jesse Winker could potentially head out on a rehab assignment next week.
“He’s definitely progressing,” said Bell. “He’s getting closer. He’s going to ramp up the swinging, the throwing, the baseball activity. He could be a week away from going to play somewhere. I would believe he would benefit from at least a couple games in Triple-A. I think on the very positive, optimistic end of things he could be playing by next weekend in Triple-A.”
How long it would take for Jesse Winker to “get back” is an unknown. The outfielder may need a few games to get used to seeing live pitching again, so the turn around may not be immediate. But getting him back certainly would help the offense. The Reds have been leaning on Shogo Akiyama and Aristides Aquino in the absence of Winker and the results haven’t been good. Aquino, who took over for Winker on August 15th when he exited the game, has hit .105/.244/.211 in the 14 games since then. Akiyama is 0-14 with one walk in the 10 games he’s played in since then. It’s been an absolutely brutal stretch for the two of them.
Brad Brach is potentially close to returning
It’s been nearly a month since Brad Brach pitched for the Reds, last throwing on August 7th. On September 1st he threw a perfect inning on a rehab assignment with Louisville. It sounds like he’s going to get at least one more before decisions are made as to whether he’ll return to the big leagues or not.
“I believe the plan right now is to get at least one more outing in Triple-A,” said David Bell on Friday. “And then he becomes an option for our team.”
Where he would fit in, or who he would replace on the roster is a bit of an unknown right now. When the rosters expanded earlier this week the team brought up two position players. They could option one of Alejo Lopez or Delino DeShields back to Triple-A and add another arm to the bullpen – if they wanted to go that route.