Braves pitcher Winkler suffers elbow fracture

Braves relief pitcher Daniel Winkler left today’s game against the Cardinals in the seventh inning after suffering what the team said is a fractured right elbow.

Winkler said he felt pain in the elbow on his penultimate pitch but didn’t think it was anything serious. He threw wildly on his next pitch and immediately clutched his arm while staggering toward the Braves’ dugout.

“I just heard it crack,” he said. “I knew exactly what it was right when it happened.”

Winkler had Tommy John elbow surgery in June 2014. He said he’s scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine if there is damage to the elbow in addition to the fracture.

“All that was running through my mind was, ‘Not now, now again,’” Winkler said. “Hopefully the ligament is still fine and it’s just bone and (I can) let it heal.”

The Braves selected Winkler in the Rule 5 draft in December 2014. He he made his major-league debut with the Braves last September, one of two appearances in 2015, and has pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings this season.

“I know I can compete up here (in the majors),” Winkler said. “I know I should be up here. That’s probably the most frustrating part about it. I just can’t get healthy. Sit out for a year-and-a-half, two years and now this happens again. It’s all right. It’s part of God’s plan and I’ve just got to go with it.”

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