The Braves announced some roster moves today, selecting the contracts of right-handers Michael Tonkin and Seth Elledge. They also reinstated catcher Manny Piña and righty Huascar Ynoa from the injured list. The 40-man roster is now full.
Both Tonkin and Elledge signed minor league deals with the club last offseason and would have been able to elect minor league free agency today. However, it seems Atlanta was impressed enough by both of their minor league seasons that they wanted to prevent them from getting away and have given each of them spots on the 40-man roster.
Tonkin, 33 next week, got some MLB action with the Twins from 2013 to 2017 but hasn’t made it back to the big leagues since. He has a career 4.43 ERA in 146 1/3 innings from that time. In the years since, he’s bounced around quite a bit, including stints in Japan and with Indy Ball teams. In 2022, he spent the whole season with Triple-A Gwinnett, throwing 48 1/3 innings over 47 appearances. He posted a 3.17 ERA along with excellent rate stats, such as a 36.5% strikeout rate, 7.5% walk rate and 50% ground ball rate. He’s out of options but the club evidently thinks there’s a chance he can help the big league bullpen next year.
Elledge, 27 in May, got brief MLB stints with the Cardinals in 2020 and 2021, bizarrely throwing exactly 11 2/3 innings and posting a 4.63 ERA in each of those two campaigns. He was designated for assignment and outrighted in October of last year before joining the Braves on a minor league deal. He made 43 appearances for Gwinnett, tossing 46 1/3 innings with a 3.88 ERA. That came with an excellent strikeout rate of 33.7%. Unlike Tonkin, he does have options remaining and can serve as depth in the minor leagues next season.
As for Piña and Ynoa, those moves are formalities as there is no injured list in the offseason, meaning the club had to either reinstate those players or else cut them from the roster entirely. It was around this time last year when Atlanta signed Piña to a two-year deal. Unfortunately, he required season-ending wrist surgery in May after getting into just five games. As for Ynoa, he underwent Tommy John surgery in September and will likely miss the entire 2023 campaign. If he hangs onto his roster spot through the winter, he can spend all of next year on the 60-day IL.