The Braves announced that right-hander Jay Jackson has been reinstated from the 60-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. To make room on the 40-man roster fellow righty Touki Toussaint has been designated for assignment.
Toussaint, 26, was the 16th overall selection of the 2014 draft, taken by the Diamondbacks. He was traded to Atlanta in 2015 along with Bronson Arroyo for Phil Gosselin. In the years following that deal, Toussaint was viewed as one of the better prospects in Atlanta’s system and across the game as a whole. Baseball America had him on their list of Top 100 prospects in all of baseball in 2015, 2016 and 2019.
However, he has struggled with injuries and underperformance since then. He saw scattered major league action over the four seasons from 2018 to 2021, logging 145 total innings over those campaigns with a 5.46 ERA. His 23.6% strikeout rate is a bit above average, though it’s also come with an unfortunate 12.9% walk rate.
This season, his final option year, he’s gotten all his action with Triple-A Gwinnett thus far. (He was briefly recalled to the big league club in April but was optioned again before getting into a game.) He’s made eight starts for the Stripers and five relief appearances, throwing 41 2/3 frames in total. Despite a robust 27.5% strikeout rate, control has again been an issue, with his 13% walk rate helping his ERA balloon up to 6.26 on the year. It seems that the club has finally run out of patience with hoping he can right the ship and make good on his potential.
Despite those unfortunate results so far this year, Toussaint is still just 26 years old and only a few years removed from being considered one of the best young pitchers in the sport. He’s sure to garner interest for teams in need of pitching depth, especially considering he can be stashed in Triple-A for the remainder of the year. He will be out of options next year, however, meaning he will need to stick on a team’s active roster all season or else be sent into DFA limbo yet again. He currently has between two and three years of MLB service time and isn’t likely to reach the three-year plateau this season. Atlanta will have one week to work out a trade or put him through waivers.