The Cincinnati Reds have sent outfielder Jesse Winker on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Louisville. Winker will begin his assignment tonight with the Bats. Louisville is in Memphis where they are beginning a series against the St. Louis Cardinals Triple-A affiliate.

In past years the Triple-A season would be over by now and this rehab opportunity wouldn’t be available. But with the world we are still living in today, the minor league season didn’t begin until May this year and for Triple-A specifically, the season extends into the first week of October.

It’s been nearly a month since Jesse Winker last played. The left-handed hitter went 0-2 against Philadelphia on August 15th before exiting the game with what would later be determined as an intercostal strain. He was hitting .307/.395/.560 at the time of the injury and the Reds offense has sorely missed his bat ever since.

The Reds are currently 0.5 games up on both the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot. With how the team has been struggling to score runs since Winker has been out, getting him back into the lineup as soon as possible would be enormous for the organization as they attempt to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2012 and 2013. The last time prior to that the Reds made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons was 1975 and 1976.

Here is what the current playoff race looks like for the second wild card spot, including odds from Fangraphs:

Team W L GB Playoff %
Reds 75 69 0 43.6%
Padres 74 69 0.5 27.4%
Cardinals 74 69 0.5 18.4%
Phillies 72 71 2.5 15.6%
Mets 72 73 3.5 4.0%

The Reds are one up in the win column, but have just as many losses as both the Padres and Cardinals. On paper the Reds have the 2nd easiest remaining schedule, with the Phillies being ahead of them. Both teams remaining schedule is has a winning percentage below .465.

40 Responses

  1. KG

    He can’t get back fast enough! It’s absolutely mind boggling that we’re still in the playoff picture after dropping 6 straight series, but here we are. GO REDS!

  2. Klugo

    Thank God. Hopefully we can have him back by Friday.

  3. Rednat

    i think the question long term is can we rely on Jessie Winker. the FO put all its marbles into the Jessie Winker and Nick Senzel basket. over guys like Siri and Trammel. so far it has been a mixed bag of results

    • PTBNL

      Siri and Trammell would have been even more of a mixed bag

    • Jim Walker

      Losing Siri on waivers for nothing in order to hold onto (most likely) the 20th or 21st pitcher on the 40 man roster seems like a typical Reds move. He was already seen as an MLB ready CF defensively. The question was whether he could hit enough.

      So then needing a CF, the Reds decided to convert Senzel; and, we all know how that has/ hasn’t worked out. Perhaps the Reds should have let that marginal pitching prospect be exposed to waivers instead of counting their CF eggs before they were in the basket.

      • DaveCT

        Siri, Trammell and Acquino are each 4/5th outfielders at best. They should be known as The Slider Away Trio.

        Winker is a first time All Star.

        I’ll give you Senzel (for now), but would still take him over any of the other three.

    • Bet on Red

      Tramell has been inconsistant in Seatle and is not viewed as one of their major tools. I do not even know where Siri is, (except on my phone lol)

  4. Rut

    Can’t recall being happier about hearing anyone was going to rehab than Jessie now


  5. old-school

    Reds better win today and tomorrow as the Thursday thru Sunday pitching matchups dont look good.

    Lefty Steven Braught Thurs
    Walker Buehler Friday
    Max Scherzer Saturday
    Clayton Kershaw Sunday.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    If all goes well for Winker maybe he could be ready for weekend series against LAD but that team has some LHP as starters… I don’t know if Urías will start one but Kershaw is almost sure he will as RHP Scherzer too

  7. Votto4life

    Jesse Winker should be in the Reds line up tonight.

    I would prefer Jesse Winker at 80% over Aquino/Shogo/DeShields at 100%.

    This team has no sense of urgency at all. AT All.

    The season could well be over for the Reds this weekend. Quite honestly, it should be over for them already, while the front office seems to think it has all the time in the world.

    • Jim Walker

      I think the question is what % will Winker be the second or third game back. It hasn’t exactly worked out well trying to force feed Moose back into the lineup from an injury similar in the sense that rest is one of the primary ingredients for recovery.

      • Votto4life

        If that’s the case and he needs more rest, then fine, give him the next five months off to rest. However, if he does need more rest, then he shouldn’t be playing in Louisville.

        If he is capable of playing now then he should be in the Reds line up tonight.

        Playing in Louisville is not going to be any more beneficial to his back than playing in Cincinnati.

      • Jim Walker

        Tonight is about finding out if he is ready to play; and, if not, he may still be ready sooner than the 10 days it would cost to activate him then have to place back on IL or play with yet another dead spot on the roster.

  8. Jim Walker

    Hoping for good things for Winker and the team. It must have been a particularly frustrating month for him since he put in the sweat equity in the off season in hopes of getting past this kind of injury.

  9. RedsMonk65

    Hurry back, Wink! We need ya, brudder!

  10. Grand Salami

    Anyone see the lineup today? Based on it, I am wondering now if Bell isn’t trying to fail to get out of this job

    • LDS

      You are making the assumption that Bell’s extension will be merit based? Don’t. He’s connected. Odds are, if he wants to come back, he will.

      • TR

        You are right on regarding Manager Bell. Connected is the word.

    • Reds Fan

      Unbelievable! He leaves Aquino in there to strike out for the third time, then pinchhits Schrock one batter late who, of course gets a hit. If I never see Aquino or DeShields or Cabrera in a Reds game again, it will be too soon. Hey, we scored. Now “Randy Johnson” Peters can’t shut us out like “Randy Johnson” Happ did on Sunday. And Moose comes through, as expected. Slam range! Got a little help from Gamel. Now, if Nick could get ahold of one. Not to be.

  11. LDS

    Good to see Winker’s return coming. However, he’s only hitting .176 against LH’ers and nearly twice that against RH’ers. A not great LH’er tonight and the usual suspects starting. JV & Suarez back to back at 4-5 again. Stephenson on the bench. Barrero on the bench. Cabrera, the supposed answer to LH’ers, on the bench. Awfully hard to be too optimistic about the state of the race. If they don’t sweep Pittsburgh, the season starts to look a bit bleak. Dodgers follow. Oh well, there’s always next year.

  12. Jpser05

    Tonight’s lineup is ridiculous. I think Grand Salami may be right…..

  13. docproc

    Get ready, folks–tonight’s lineup might be our worst of the season.

    • RedAlert

      It’s awful …. David Bell is unbelievable .

      Guy needs to be let go at years end . He is the most inept manager in MLB . Cannot put (refuses to put) his best 9 players on the field at time to save his life . I am sick and tired of his nonsense !!!!!

      Get rid of this clown !!!

  14. Lid

    I think we get in the playoffs as long as we go 7-2 vs the Pirates for the rest of the year, and I think Cards and Phils are slightly worse teams than the Reds.

    I think SD is slightly better than the Reds, but they have two 100 win teams that are not going to lose much in their division the rest of the way.

    Ironically, the division loser between SF/LA should annihilate the Reds. I guess I want SF to be the wildcard, since we have no chance to beat Scherzer in a one game playoff.

    It’s good the young guys are in a pennant race.

    • TR

      It’s a game. I would never say any team has no chance.

    • Reds Fan

      Now you can make that 7-1. Never happen! I felt like we had to go, at worst, 9-4 against Pittsburgh and Washington because we could easily go 1-4 or 0-5 against LA and the White Sox.

  15. old-school

    If Barnhart is Mileys personal catcher,. this would be the day to give Joey another day off at first base and put Stephenson at 1b, Farmer at 3b, Barrero at SS ,and I dont know at CF

    Or…put Farmer LF as Indy says, put Aquino in CF.

  16. SOQ

    I’m not sure I would call this a “Pennant Race”- at least, not the way the Reds are playing. And if we do make the 1 game Playoff (Play In) game, I’m afraid it will be an embarrassment . Looking forward to better days ahead in the coming seasons

  17. stuckonthenorthshore

    Keep the faith people!! Somehow still .5 up in the WC. I do wish Votto would have got tonight off. Two days would have been good for him I think. Otherwise, let’s go Redlegs!!!!

  18. LT

    Great news! This year team is mediocre at full strength. But it’s one of those years where there’s 3 great teams and a bunch of mediocre teams. One of the mediocre team will win East. One of the mediocre teams will win WC2. Might was well be Reds. Go Reds!

    • TR

      At this point in the season, I’m not interested in the quality. I just want the Reds to win, period.

  19. Reds Fan

    Look at that lineup tonight and chalk it up. Four guys hitting under .200 and the best is Miley at .192. Apparently, Bell will never learn. He trots out the same lineup against a lefty over and over and expects different results. And we don’t even have Stephenson tonight. I wonder how the pitchers feel knowing a run or 2 will cost the game.

  20. Bill J

    Salami,your right when a 3rd of the lineup isn’t even hitting .200 but, just to prove home runs are more important than speed Suarez is playing over Barrero.

  21. Tim

    Reds have been losers without him. We need him back. (Also Farmer to 3rd and JB to SS.)

  22. Doc4uk

    Unreal to have Aquino and Deshields on the team at this point not to mention Cabrera who is hitless for the Reds. The hitting against lefties is demoralizing