Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Winker and his bat called up by Reds

Outfielder is ranked Cincinnati's No. 3 prospect
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Jesse Winker got his long-anticipated first Major League callup to the Reds on Friday when he was summoned from Triple-A Louisville. But it didn't mean the Winker era for Cincinnati's outfield was beginning just yet -- although he did pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth and struck out during a 10-4 loss to the Brewers.

After reliever Barrett Astin pitched two innings in Thursday's loss to the Brewers and wouldn't be available, he was optioned to Louisville.

View Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Jesse Winker got his long-anticipated first Major League callup to the Reds on Friday when he was summoned from Triple-A Louisville. But it didn't mean the Winker era for Cincinnati's outfield was beginning just yet -- although he did pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth and struck out during a 10-4 loss to the Brewers.

After reliever Barrett Astin pitched two innings in Thursday's loss to the Brewers and wouldn't be available, he was optioned to Louisville.

View Full Game Coverage

"With [starting pitcher] Rookie Davis being out, this gives us the opportunity to go from a nine-man bullpen to an eight-man bullpen and five-man bench," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It gives us another left-handed hitting option and gives Jesse some experience. It might not be a real long stay, but it's an opportunity for him to get up and help our ballclub and get some experience at the big league level."

Video: Callis discusses Reds prospect Winker's debut

The Reds will need a starter on Sunday to replace Davis, who went on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a bruised right forearm. Price said pitcher Sal Romano would be called up from Louisville to make that start.

Odds are that Romano will replace Winker on the roster.

"Right now, it's going to be a bench presence and the ability to come up and give us a good at-bat off the bench," Price said of Winker. "Other than that, that's about as far as I can go with it."

Winker, 23, is the Reds' No. 3 prospect and the No. 63 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. He was batting a .323/421/.387 with no homers over the first nine games for Louisville.

Last season, Winker batted .303/.397.384 with three homers and 45 RBIs over 106 games with Louisville. He walked as often as he struck out, 59 times each.

"Pretty incredible. This is what you dream of as a kid, right? Getting your opportunity," said Winker, a supplemental first-round pick by the Reds in the 2012 Draft. "I kind of just laddered my way up the organization to here. Now I'm at the top and get to help the big league club win. It's really cool. Right now, I'm soaking it all in as we speak, and I'm just kind of ready to go play."

Winker, who grew up in the Orlando, Fla., area, will have his parents at Great American Ball Park, along with both of his brothers.

"I called my mom last night. I think she had all the flights booked within the hour," he said. "It was pretty incredible. It was really cool for all of us. Today is the first day so I'm taking it all in."

Price couldn't say if he would give Winker a start while he was up with the club. The Reds outfield is set with right fielder Scott Schebler, center fielder Billy Hamilton and left fielder Adam Duvall.

"If he's here longer, then he would get starts periodically," Price said. "We have our outfield. Right now, he's a supplemental piece. I think he can help us while he's here."

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