On Thursday morning Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said that the plan was for Jesse Winker to play tonight in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats and then, if things went well, return to Cincinnati for the weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. At 6pm on Thursday night the Louisville Bats posted their lineup and Jesse Winker was not in it. That meant two things: Jesse Winker had some kind of set back or Jesse Winker was coming back to Cincinnati because it didn’t make sense to risk anything. Jim Kelch, who is filling in for Louisville on the road this week as their broadcaster, had the good news, noting that Winker is heading back to Cincinnati and said “it’s time”.

Jesse Winker played in two games on his rehab assignment in Triple-A. Both games took place in Memphis, where the Louisville Bats are playing this week against the St. Louis Cardinals affiliate. Winker went 0-2 with a strikeout in the first game and then he went 0-3 with a strikeout in the second game.

The stats don’t really matter. Jesse Winker made it through all five at-bats without any issues with his intercostal strain that has kept him out for the last month.

The Reds have lost seven consecutive series and have fallen in the standings. They are no longer in control of the second spot in the wild card standings and are chasing both the Cardinals and San Diego Padres while also trying to fend off both the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. A large part of their struggles of late has been an inconsistent offense, though much of that has come as the team has faced an inordinate amount of left-handed starters in that stretch – something that Jesse Winker may not have been able to help much with.

Still, Winker has hit .307/.395/.560 this season and getting his bat back into the lineup with regularity would seem to be very beneficial as long as he can return and be anything remotely close to the hitter that he has been this year. Cincinnati only has 15 more games to go in the regular season and every single one of them is more important than the one that came before it.

41 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    This is good news. I haven’t cancelled the trip next week (haven’t bought seats yet either). Perhaps I need to wait just a bit longer … would love to see our guys play in person.

    • Redsvol

      you need to go Mark. I went to a couple games in August and had a blast. Win or lose there is nothing like being at a good major league ballpark. Great American is a nice ballpark and the folks there do a good job providing a nice outing.

    • 2020ball

      If you have it planned I’d 1000% go. Man do I love going to games, even if my team loses.

      • 2020ball

        I know this team is frustrating, but if that keeps people from going it actually breaks my heart a little as a baseball fan….

      • Mike V

        right there with ya .. I still LOVE going to the games win or lose and the folks at the GABP are great . Sure the prices are out of reality , but the Reds folks do a great job or making the ballpark a great place to spend an afternoon or evening . Play Ball!

    • CFD3000

      Mark –
      Go to the games! We made our annual pilgrimage from Atlanta to GABP for the Labor Day weekend Tigers series. They lost 2 orders 3, but it was still great to be at the park and see Major League Baseball in person. No fans last year. Maybe no baseball next year (CBA). And they’re in a pennant race! Go – have fun. Go Reds!

  2. Old-school

    Jesse winker and Joey votto destroy right handed pitching. Those are weapons

  3. LeRoy

    Great to have Winker back but that doesn’t mean that he will be back to normal. Castellanos has hit around .250 since he returned from injury but has hit a few HRs but he’s not near what he was earlier. Suarez has not been the same since he injured his shoulder even though he hits HRs but has been a mediocre hitter. Moose has not been the same since his injury and Senzel has never got back on track due to his injuries. There’s not much time for him to get back to his hitting form and I’m afraid it might be too late. At least it will be good to see Winker’s name in the lineup.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    For some reason all bats went cold at the same time than Winker got injured, hopefully his presence in the lineup will wake them up, although the series against the Dodgers seems steep facing Buehler, Kershaw and Scherzer.

  5. LT

    Improbable but not impossible. There is something in having a stable line up and that’s what we’re gonna have with Winker. 1 through 4 will be set. Bell played around too much with #2 since Winker went down. I griped before and I am doing it again that I thought Naquin slotted in 2 nicely and was raking, but Bell threw TS in that spot when TS in line up. Anyhew, neither here nor there. Excited about the weekend series. Go Reds.

    • LGR

      I agree. Naquin at 2 was perfectly fine. Left handed starter or not. I got into a lot of fights on twitter about how Stephenson should NOT be batting 2nd.

      • Beaufort Red

        I say Schrock at 2 and playing 3rd. against righties
        1. India 2b
        2. Schrock 3b
        3. Winker LF
        4. Castallenos RF
        5. Votto 1B
        6.Farmer SS
        7. Barnhart C
        8. CF
        When Naquin returns to CF stick him either before or after Votto.
        Now when lefties pitch….Yikes

      • Chris Holbert

        I do not disagree in regards to Schrock. Tt seems Schrock, is hitting good right now. I do not see DB ever playing Schrock at 3B before Suarez or Moose, that is not in his $$ contract or veteran first mentality.

      • 2020ball

        So what youre saying is, it would be a shock if he plays Schrock

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    If Winker could hit well returning right now would be great welcome… Let’s see if Naquin gets healthy in next days so the lineup against righties would be stronger…On the other hand, I guess the bullpen is short today because Givens and Lorenzen threw in last 2 games, in fact, Givens delivered 25 pitches yesterday. Sims has been very active too i don’t know if he may available tonight.

    • Jim

      Really like Beaufort Red’s lineup, except Farmer should be 5th in front of Votto, he can run the bases and put pressure on the pitcher.. Pitchers don’t worry about Votto if he he gets on base.

      • wkuchad

        Farmer should never hit in front of Votto vs a right-handed pitcher.

      • Bill J

        Does anyone remember the Dodgers from the early 60s, they had a way to manufacture a run in the 1st inning. Wills either walk or single steal second Gilliam lay down a bunt move Wills to 3rd and Moon, Snider or Roseboro would bring him in. No waiting for a home run.

  7. redsfan4040

    I think the presence of Winker alone – completely healthy or up to speed or not, will have an impact on this lineup.
    15 games left. I remain optimistic. Hope the Reds take at least 2/3 from the Dodgers this weekend, then 1/1 from the Dodgers in a few weeks.

    • centerfield

      Chad Dotson is predicting a Reds sweep. Stranger things have happened.

  8. Chris Holbert

    I wonder if that means it is yoyo time again for Barrero?

  9. Bet on Red

    Just announced, Winker activated, Naquin to IL (ribs), Brach released (I know that last one will make alot of you cry)

    • Votto4life

      So, the Reds played a player short for a whole week for no reason at all? What a shock.

      • Chris Holbert

        If he was heading to the Il, why wait. Another head scratcher. It probably means Lopez up and down, but playing a player down, despite the expanded roster, seems like self inflicting shorthandeness. Not sure that’s a word.

      • 2020ball

        your missing a d, but yes thats a word. Head scratcher for sure, the FO always does this weird stuff with the IL never made much sense to me over the years. They basically delayed when Naquin can come off the IL, so hopefully he isn’t ready before then. I don’t know how much Lopez up would’ve helped but why not, you’ve used an option on him already.

  10. old-school

    Naquin is on the IL retroactive to the 14th
    He last played on the 11th?

  11. Still a Red

    Not sure if Winker can come back strong from the get-go, but boy would that provide a lift.

  12. Redgoggles

    Jesse Winker, starting CENTER FIELDER!?!?!

    Lol.

    • docproc

      Just saw that on Reds Twitter. Speechless.

      • LDS

        Come on, nothing better than playing players out of position. Improves their utility. At least, that’s what some on here would claim. Someone said Dotson was predicting a Reds sweep? That’s seems a bit optimistic from him. Maybe sarcasm?

      • 2020ball

        its called “positive thinking”, though I know most here prefer the grumble

      • LDS

        Ah yes, positive thinking – the refuge of those unwilling to deal with reality.

      • 2020ball

        haha as if youre the one in reality

    • 2020ball

      Whatever keeps Schrock in the lineup is fine with me, its desperation time boys. I actually have more confidence in playing Suarez/Moustakas than I do our other OFs, so this is fine in my book. If they get ahead expect some defensive subs.

    • RedsMonk65

      From Sheldon:

      Winker is in CF because Akiyama is dealing with hamstring tightness and the club wanted Schrock’s bat in the lineup also against Buehler. Akiyama available off the bench.