Winker making progress with hip injury

Reds' top prospect swings bat, no longer feels discomfort

Winker making progress with hip injury

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds top prospect and outfielder Jesse Winker brought his bat to the cage and took some swings. His strained left hip flexor is no longer giving him discomfort.

"I just hit off the tee in the cage. It felt great," Winker said on Wednesday at the team complex in Goodyear. "I'm progressing accordingly. Everything is going well. I lifted today. It's feeling good, feeling well."

Last Thursday vs. the Rockies, Winker was injured in an outfield collision with Jake Cave trying to catch a fly ball. He was given a few days off.

Winker, 23, was relieved the injury wasn't serious.

"Absolutely, especially when you're a hitter and you go to turn and hit a ball," Winker said. "It felt good today and I was very pleased with that. I feel like I'm progressing the way they want me to and the way I want to, too."

Winker, who is ranked as the organization's No. 1 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, also has done some straight-line running without issue. His return to the lineup isn't imminent but he hoped to resume competing for a big league roster spot.

"It'll still probably be a few days before we consider him ready to play," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

More notes from Wednesday:

• The Reds have a "B" game scheduled vs. the White Sox in Goodyear at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. Rotation candidate Cody Reed is the scheduled starting pitcher.

• Right-handed reliever Carlos Contreras, who was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Monday, cleared waivers and was released on Wednesday. His departure leaves the Reds' 40-man roster at 38 players

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.