Jesse Winker’s return to the Reds lineup was short-lived, as the outfielder left today’s game prior to the bottom of the third inning. Winker went 0-for-2 with two flyouts in his first two plate appearances before re-aggravating the mild intercostal strain that sidelined him for Cincinnati’s previous two games. A previous MRI didn’t reveal any damage, though manager David Bell told reporters (including The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans) that Winker will be re-evaluated prior to tomorrow’s game against the Cubs.
While the Reds are in the thick of the wild card race, the team will surely be careful with one of their top bats to prevent a longer-term injury. Winker has hit .307/.395/.560 with 24 home runs over 481 plate appearances this season, and he entered today’s action as the NL leader in doubles (32) and total bases (235). The Reds are in the midst of a grueling stretch of 29 games over 30 days, so there isn’t any built-in time for Winker to really get a break, and a trip to the injured list might be necessary to fully correct the issue.
More on other injury situations from around baseball…
- Francisco Lindor participated in just about a full range of baseball activities prior to today’s game against the Dodgers, and Mets manager Luis Rojas told reporters (including MLB.com’s Bill Ladson) that Lindor could potentially be activated off the injured list when New York begins its next homestand on August 24. Lindor will travel with the Mets on their road trip and continue to work out, so the club will monitor his progress and then determine whether a minor league rehab assignment is necessary, or if Lindor could return to the active roster without the benefit of any minor league tuneup games. A Grade 2 oblique strain sent Lindor to the IL on July 17, so even a return by that Mets homestand would be a pretty decent turn-around time for the shortstop, given how more severe oblique problems can sometimes linger.
- Zach Eflin (right knee tendinitis) threw a live batting practice session today, while Vince Velasquez (right middle finger blister) and Sam Coonrod (forearm tendinitis) threw live BP sessions yesterday. The Phillies pitchers are at different stages in their recoveries, and Velasquez and Coonrod will each begin minor league rehab assignments on Tuesday. Eflin’s next step could be another simulated session before he starts his own rehab assignment, though the right-hander told NBC Sports’ Jim Salisbury and other reporters that he “felt great” during today’s 28-pitch session.
- The Brewers are almost all the way out of a COVID-19 outbreak on their roster, and two of the remaining sidelined players (Adrian Houser and Jandel Gustave) are nearing returns. As Brewers manager Craig Counsell told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak and other reporters, Gustave is working out with the team and Houser is expected to join the club when the Brew Crew begin a series with the Cardinals on Tuesday.