Pitching in the top of the seventh inning on Sunday, with the Atlanta Braves up 6-5 on the St. Louis Cardinals, right-handed reliever Dan Winkler heard a crack. "I knew exactly what it was right when it happened. It didn't feel good,” he said after the game.
It didn’t look good either. After he fired a cutter behind the back of Cardinals outfield Randal Grichuk, Winkler stumbled off the mound, clutching his elbow, and started running toward the Braves dugout. He didn’t make it. After falling to his knees just inside the first baseline, it was clear that the 26-year-old was in trouble.
“All that was running through my mind was, 'Not now. Not again.' Hopefully the ligament's still fine and it's just (the) bone. Hopefully just gotta let it heal. We'll see," he said.
Winkler missed most of last season while recovering from Tommy John. Looks like he’ll miss the rest of this season too. For a guy coming off of an impressive spring, that’s a huge blow. For a Braves team that's now 0-5, it's not a huge deal. They were going to be terrible this year with or without Winkler.