Winker and the Reds avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.15 million contract Friday, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Winker took a step forward at the plate in 2020, though it's perhaps more accurate to say he took two steps forward and one step back. He was suddenly no longer a contact hitter, as his 25.1 percent strikeout rate was nearly 10 points worse than the 15.2 percent mark he managed over his first three seasons, but he more than made up for it with a big jump in power. His .289 ISO smashed his .181 mark through his first three campaigns, leading to 12 homers in just 54 games and an overall .255/.388/.544 slash line.
Winker is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Twins, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. Winker seemed to be breaking out of his platoon role earlier this season, but he's been struggling in a major way and this marks his third consecutive absence against a lefty. Joey Votto will DH against Rich Hill while Aristides Aquino, Nick Senzel and Nick Castellanos play the outfield from left to right.
Winker went 1-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run in Wednesday's 6-1 win over the Brewers. At one point the hottest hitter in all of Major League Baseball, Winker has cooled in September, hitting .095 in 42 at-bats around a stretch of missed time due to back tightness. He's fallen in the order against righties as a result, and Winker has also sat against the left two lefties the Reds have faced.
Winker isn't starting Saturday against the White Sox. Winker blasted a three-run homer Friday, and Saturday's absence appears to be routine with left-hander Dallas Keuchel on the mound for the White Sox. Tyler Stephenson will serve as the designated hitter.
Winker went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in Friday's 7-1 win over the White Sox. Winker hit the Reds' fourth homer of the night off Chicago starter Jonathan Stiever and it was a no-doubter, traveling 447 feet. The long ball snapped an 0-for-23 skid at the plate for Winker, who recently missed a stretch of time with back tightness. Overall, he's slashing .263/.381/.556 with 11 homers, 22 RBI, 23 runs scored and one stolen base.