Brewers: Winker Placed On Injured List, Toro Recalled From Triple-A Nashville

The move was made prior to Wednesday's win over the Reds.

Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers
Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Jesse Winker's tenure with the Milwaukee Brewers has been rough sledding. After being acquired in the offseason to hold down the Brewers' designated hitter position, the lefty has greatly struggled at the plate and has failed to contribute for the Crew this season.

Winker's role on the team continues to diminish, and his future outlook with the Milwaukee Brewers is becoming much more clouded. He hasn't been in the starting lineup since Saturday's matchup with the Atlanta Braves, and his lack of at-bats versus right-handed pitching has been a red flag.

Now, Jesse Winker hits the shelf for the second time this season. His status with the Milwaukee Brewers is greatly in question as we approach the August 1st trade deadline.

A struggling Jesse Winker hits the injured list for the second time this season for the Brewers, this time with back spasms.

After being placed on the injured list at the end of May with a cervical strain, Jesse Winker now hits the shelf with back spasms. Perhaps back issues have been the root cause of Winker's struggling performance and recent absence from Milwaukee's lineup.

Or, perhaps the Brewers are using a stint on the injured list as a mental and physical reset for Winker. Regardless of the reason, it has been an enormous step back for Jesse Winker in 2023, and he could use this time to get himself right.

In 197 plate appearances on the year, Winker is slashing .199/.320/.247 with an OPS+ of 59 and a wRC+ of 66. He was a popular bounce-back candidate heading into the 2023 season after struggling with the Seattle Mariners in 2022, but his numbers have continued to dip with this year with the Brewers.

He is putting up career low numbers across the board offensively, including categories such as batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. In turn, it's no surprise to see his peripheral statistics suffering as well.

Jesse Winker is posting some of the worst bat-to-ball numbers of his seven year career this season. His whiff rate sits at 25.1%, which is a five percent jump from his number from last season. Additionally, his zone contact rate of 80.4% has dipped by over five percent from 2022 and is the second-lowest mark of his career.

Therefore, it's no surprise to see Winker sporting the highest strikeout rate of his career at 25.9%. Not only has Winker battled swing-and-miss concerns, but he is failing to make impactful contact when he does put the bat on the ball.

Winker is making the weakest quality of contact of his career in 2023. His barrel rate sits at 4.3%, and he is sporting the lowest hard hit rate (31.9%) and average exit velocity (86.8 mph) of his career this season. He has just one home run on the year, and his power presence simply has not been felt in 2023.

Something in Winker's game has been askew this season. His contact rates have not been good, and he has yet to find his power stroke thus far. If he can't turn things around quickly, his days with the Milwaukee Brewers are surely limited.

Abraham Toro rejoins the Milwaukee Brewers after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville, hoping to provide a spark for the offense.

Abraham Toro, who was Winker's teammate included in the Kolten Wong trade, gets another shot with the Milwaukee Brewers after a brief five-game appearance back at the end of May.

Toro has been hitting the ball well with Triple-A Nashville this season, slashing .288/.367/.462 for an OPS over .820 in 300 plate appearances. He has also racked up 32 extra-base hits with the Sounds, including 25 doubles and six homers on the year. Not only does Toro's ability to switch-hit bring some versatility to the batting order, but his defensive flexibility brings value to the diamond as well.

Toro is a utility infielder who spends most of his time at second and third base. He will likely see some run at both positions as he works himself into the mix with Brice Turang and Andruw Monasterio. However, it looks as if the Brewers will be calling his number to help provide some depth at first base in the meantime.

Toro has started ten games at first base with the Nashville Sounds this season, and he made his sixth career big league start at first base in Wednesday's rubber match with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Milwaukee Brewers continue to search for a first baseman to hold down the position while Rowdy Tellez recovers from a bizarre finger injury. Owen Miller has been the ball club's primary replacement, and Victor Caratini recently made his first start of the season at first base against Atlanta last week.

If Abraham Toro can translate his hot bat to the major league level, he could provide some valuable depth at first base. The Brewers are getting some of the league's worst production from the position this season, and it's looking like a position that will need to be addressed as we near the August 1st trade deadline.

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