Braves reliever Daniel Winkler fractures elbow, out indefinitely

The bad news is beginning to pile on for the Braves.

Reliever Daniel Winkler, one of the few bright spots during Atlanta’s difficult start to the season, fractured his right elbow during the seventh inning of Sunday’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The injury will sideline the 26-year-old right-hander indefinitely. He will undergo an MRI on Monday.

"Just got the cutter away and all of a sudden just heard a crack," Winkler said. "I knew exactly what it was right when it happened.

" … 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."

The Rule 5 Draft pickup had made an impressive comeback from Tommy John surgery by dominating the Grapefruit League and his early 2016 MLB appearances. Dating back to the start of spring training, Winkler struck out 21 of the previous 48 batters he had faced prior to running off the mound grabbing his right elbow on Sunday.

"Like I told Fredi (Gonzalez), he came up to me and I said, ‘I know I can compete up here. I know I should be up here.’ That’s probably the most frustrating part about it is I just can’t get healthy," Winkler said. "It’s like sit out for a year and a half or two years and now this happens again."

As other parts of Atlanta’s bullpen have struggled through the first two series, Winkler had yet to allow a hit or run on the board.

The news comes just hours after the team announced outfielder Ender inciarte is heading to the 15-day disabled list after straining his left hamstring earlier in the St. Louis series.

The Braves are one of two winless teams in the majors.