The Braves optioned backup outfielder Adam Duvall, relief pitcher Dan Winkler and pitching prospect Touki Toussaint to their Triple-A Gwinnett farm team Sunday.
The moves left the Braves with 35 players on their spring-training roster, four days ahead of the season opener Thursday in Philadelphia. The Braves must trim the active roster to 25 by then.
The demotion of Duvall, who struggled in a backup role after being acquired last season, came one day after the Braves obtained another veteran outfielder, Matt Joyce, from the San Francisco Giants. Duvall had a .171 batting average with two home runs in Grapefruit League play this spring.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the Braves hope Duvall can get back on track with everyday playing time at Gwinnett.
Toussaint’s demotion came on the day after he allowed six hits and seven runs (six earned) in 1-2/3 innings of work in an exhibition game against the Mets. That outing swelled Toussaint’s spring ERA to 8.62 (15 earned runs in 15-2/3 innings).
Winkler pitched in six games this spring, allowing five runs in 5-1/3 innings (8.44 ERA).
Snitker said Winkler was sent down primarily because the Braves are looking to carry relief pitchers who can work multiple innings if needed, especially considering their young starting pitchers.
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