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Reds prospect Stephenson put on 7-day DL

Top-ranked Winker on hitting tear for Double-A Pensacola

CINCINNATI -- Reds top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson was placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain. Meanwhile, things are going very well of late for the top hitting prospect, outfielder Jesse Winker.

Stephenson was placed on Triple-A Louisville's 7-day DL on Tuesday. During his previous start last Wednesday, he experienced a cramp near his right wrist. The right-hander only pitched two innings in that game.

"We're going to gradually bring him back slow with a throwing program," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "It was very mild."

Jocketty did not immediately have a timetable for Stephenson's return, but the club wanted him on the DL so he could come to Cincinnati and be examined by team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. Louisville also needed a spot for pitcher Tony Cingrani, who was activated from the DL after a neck injury. Cingrani was slated to start for the Bats on Tuesday.

A first-round pick in the 2011 Draft, Stephenson is the Reds' No. 2 prospect, according to The 22-year-old was promoted to Louisville in July and is 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA in eight starts. For Double-A Pensacola, the 22-year-old was 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 starts. Before the injury, Stephenson was viewed as having a chance to debut in the Majors at some point this season.

Video: [email protected]: Winker brings home Falu with sac fly

At Double-A Pensacola, Winker has been on a hitting tear. The No. 1 prospect in the organization tied the team record by hitting a home run in five straight games, a streak that ended on Sunday.

Winker, who turned 23 on Monday, entered the day batting .379/.455./.741 in 16 August games, including 10-for-22 (.455) with five homers in his last six games.

"I'm trying to get there next week. I want to see him before the season is over," Jocketty said.

Following a slow start to the season, Winker is batting .275/.374/.433 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs overall in 107 games. There was speculation entering the year that he could be in the Majors this season, but that now seems unlikely.

"We haven't really talked about it," Jocketty said. "It hasn't been discussed, but probably not."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.
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