The Reds have activated right-hander Tyler Mahle from the injured list and sent outfielder Jesse Winker to the IL (retroactive to Monday) with a cervical strain, the team announced. Mahle will head to Triple-A Louisville.
Mahle missed just over a month with a hamstring injury. Prior to that, the 24-year-old gave the Reds 102 1/3 innings and 19 starts of 4.93 ERA/4.31 FIP ball. Those numbers don’t look impressive, though Mahle also recorded 9.32 K/9 against 2.29 BB/9 and posted a solid 45.6 percent groundball rate at the same time. He’ll hope that production, not to mention whatever he does the rest of the season (if he returns to the Reds), will help him earn a place in the club’s rotation next year. The group figures to welcome back Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani then, while Kevin Gausman could join Mahle in pushing for the last spot.
Winker, meanwhile, represents another of Cincinnati’s promising young players. In his most extensive big league action to date, the 26-year-old has slashed .269/.357/.473 (113 wRC+) with 16 home runs, 38 unintentional walks and 60 strikeouts over 384 plate appearances this season. The lefty-swinging Winker hasn’t been a legitimate option this year versus southpaws, though, as he has hit just .163/.280/.163 against them in 50 PA.