MLB news: Jesse Winker is NOT currently nursing an injury. This is why it becomes even more concerning that the one-time All-Star has been relegated to a role on the bench of late. On Monday, in the Milwaukee Brewers’ hard-fought 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds, Winker was not in the lineup for the third time in the last five games. At this point, it sounds like this could be a trend for the left fielder for the foreseeable future.
MLB News: Craig Counsell Reveals Brewers’ Plan for Jesse Winker Amid Slump
Brewers manager Greg Counsell has now spoken out about his decision to keep Winker out of his rotation. The 52-year-old hinted that Winker could end up missing more games as Milwaukee looks to other players on the team to step up in his stead:
“At this point, truthfully, we just got to go with the guys who can produce more at that point of the season, for me,” Counsell said (h/t Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
This obviously isn’t a good development for Winker. Then again, given how much he’s struggled throughout the season, you can’t really say that this decision comes as a huge shock.
“Look, he’s struggling,” Counsell said. “We need production out of that spot. He, unfortunately, up to this point hasn’t given us production out of that spot. I think he understands it. I think he understands it and just tries to be ready for an at-bat later in the day.”
You also can’t say that Winker didn’t get enough opportunities to get out of his slump. Counsell has been riding it out with his high-profile outfielder — well, at least up to this point.
“I don’t think there’s a hard and fast answer to that,” Counsell said when asked what ultimately led to his decision to bench Winker. “You have a player who’s produced at really high levels in the major leagues, you want to continue to give him chances to get back to that place that we’ve seen, which is an all-star level of offensive production. At some point, you try to take a step back and let him work on some things and make some adjustments and put him back in there and see if that does anything.
“You run through and kind of exhaust a bunch of different avenues to try to get a player back going and you keep doing that. That’s how it works.”
MLB News: Jesse Winker Speaks Out on His Poor Play
Jesse Winker has been around long enough to realize that this game is one of ups and downs. Even the 29-year-old himself admits that he hasn’t been at his best this season:
“I’m not playing that well,” Winker said. “That doesn’t mean you stop working and stop trying to put together good ABs and get good swings off. It’s just not going my way. It’s part of it, I guess. It’s definitely frustrating personally but keep at the work and just keep going.”
As he said, all Winker can do now is to keep his head down and just to continue putting in the work. It’s basically out of his hands now, and for the time being, he just has to stay ready for when his number is called — whenever that is.
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