Cincinnati Reds All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker is back, and his return comes right as his teammates are in pursuit of a playoff berth.
According to Mark Sheldon of the MLB website, Winker completed two games for Triple-A Louisville as a rehab assignment and has been activated off the injured list. The 28-year-old originally went on the IL Aug. 16 with an intercostal strain and hasn't played for the big-league club since.
Winker entered Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers batting .307 with 24 home runs and 71 RBI. The Reds, meanwhile, entered Friday only one game back of a wild-card berth.
"I don’t think, realistically, feeling 100% was on the table," Winker said of his health Friday afternoon. "I just wanted to get it good enough to just be able to come back and help. That’s all I wanted to do."
Meanwhile, fellow outfielder Tyler Naquin was placed on the IL retroactive to Tuesday with bruised ribs that will likely keep him out through at least the end of the regular season on Oct. 3.
"I just said, 'Screw it, I’m going to go play baseball,' Winker added. "You only get to be part of a playoff chase so many times. You don’t know the next time you’re going to be one game back for the wild card. I just felt like I want to play, and that’s it."