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Winker says his struggles last season were due to a prolonged recovery from multiple surgeries in the prior offseason, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.

The 30-year-old underwent knee surgery in October 2022 and followed it up with disc replacement surgery in his neck, so it's perhaps not surprising in retrospect that he never seemed comfortable at the plate in 2023. "I think the recovery was a little bit harder than I thought it was going to be," Winker said Friday. "It took me a little bit longer than I thought, but I think I'm in a really good spot now. For me, that's all that matters. Obviously, I learned a lot going through those, and I'm happy I did." Winker signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals last week as he looks to make a comeback, and he posted a .305/.394/.556 slash line in 110 games for the Reds as recently as 2021. If he is 100 percent healthy again, he could quickly move into a regular role as the primary DH on a Washington roster in dire need of offense.

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