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Winker needs season-ending shoulder surgery

Reds summon outfielder Williams from Triple-A, transfer infielder Blandino to 60-day DL
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Reds rookie outfielder Jesse Winker was crushed. A very nice season prematurely ended on Thursday when Winker learned he would need season-ending surgery to repair a right shoulder injury.

"It's terrible," said Winker, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

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CINCINNATI -- Reds rookie outfielder Jesse Winker was crushed. A very nice season prematurely ended on Thursday when Winker learned he would need season-ending surgery to repair a right shoulder injury.

"It's terrible," said Winker, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

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Outfielder Mason Williams had his contract selected from Triple-A Louisville and will replace Winker on the 25-man roster. To make room for Williams on the 40-man roster, infielder Alex Blandino was transferred to the 60-day DL.

In 89 games as part of a four-man outfield rotation, Winker batted .299/.405/.431 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs. He was hitting .362 with six of those homers since June 1, putting himself on a short list of contenders for National League Rookie of the Year Award consideration.

"Jesse is doing a really good job for us, having a nice year," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "His outfield play was progressing. His offensive game was just being refined."

Video: CIN@CLE: Winker smashes a 2-run homer to right field

The official term for the injury is right shoulder subluxation, which is a partial dislocation. Winker, 24, revealed it has been something he has been dealing with and managing for 2-3 years in the Minor Leagues. The Reds expect Winker to be ready for next Spring Training.

"It's been happening and we've done everything we can to keep it at bay," Winker said. "It's been off and on this whole year with some shoulder pain and this whole subluxation thing. I've had to deal with a few of those. Now it's time to go in there and fix it. Everyone agrees with this step. It's time to go do it."

During Monday's 2-1 win over the Cardinals in the ninth inning, Winker had to dive while running to second base to avoid being struck by a Tucker Barnhart line drive. He didn't feel good when he got back up.

"That ended it. That was pretty much the last straw," Winker said.

Not only is Cincinnati without Winker, right fielder Scott Schebler is still on the DL with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder from a crash into the wall on July 14. Schebler began a rehab assignment with Louisville on Wednesday as the designated hitter since throwing still bothers him. Without both players, Phillip Ervin is the right fielder, while rookie Brandon Dixon and Williams will back up.

Video: CIN@STL: Schebler gets injured on a catch at the wall

Riggleman hopes Schebler can get back to the Reds soon as the club needs a consistent hitter behind Eugenio Suarez in the middle of the order.

"It's on Schebler. When he says he's ready to go, he'll be here," Riggleman said.

Williams back in the big leagues

The Reds signed Williams to a Minor League contract in November and invited him to big league camp. After he impressed many at Spring Training, the 26-year-old batted .280/.341/.418 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 87 games with Louisville.

"It's been a matter of me being healthy and staying on the field and playing my game and having confidence in myself," Williams said.

Williams appeared in 25 big league games for the Yankees from 2015-17, but he tore the labrum in his right shoulder on June 19, 2015, diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt.

"He's played a good center field," Riggleman said of the reports about Williams from Louisville. "He's had productive at-bats, competitive at-bats against both left- and right-handed pitching. He's a good athlete. We're confident he will come up here and do a good job."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Jesse Winker