Braves Turn To Rookies
The Atlanta Braves optioned right-handed pitching prospect Touki Toussaint to Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, but two other rookie pitchers will be in the defending National League East champion's opening rotation.
Right-handers Bryse Wilson, 21, and Kyle Wright, 23, will follow Julio Teheran in the rotation for the opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, the team announced.
Wilson and Wright, ranked as the 51st and 22nd overall prospects in baseball by ESPN's Keith Law, are scheduled to pitch Saturday and Sunday at Citizen's Bank Park. Wilson has a 3.29 ERA in five appearances this spring while Wright has a 7.11 ERA in five appearances. Wright, however, has struck out 18 batters in 12 2/3 innings pitched.
The 22-year-old Toussaint, ranked 26th among overall prospects by Law, was thought to have a shot to make the Braves' starting rotation this season but struggled this spring. He was 1-2 with an 8.62 ERA in six appearances. He struck out 20 batters in 15 2/3 innings but also allowed 18 hits.
Reliever Dan Winkler was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday as well. Winkler had a strong season in the Braves' bullpen in 2018 with a 3.43 ERA in 60 1/3 innings. But the right-hander struggled this spring with an 8.44 ERA in 5 1/3 innings pitched.
Outfielder Adam Duvall, acquired in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds last year, also was optioned. Duvall hit just .171 in 41 at-bats this spring in his bid to make the team as a backup outfielder. In addition, the Braves acquired veteran outfielder Matt Joyce from the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
The Braves have 35 players remaining on their spring training roster.