Former Long Island Duck Michael Tonkin Returns to MLB with Atlanta Braves

Michael Tonkin, a former Long Island Duck, becomes the latest ex-Atlantic League player to join Major League Baseball’s ranks after pitching for the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, April 2.

The California native pitched in relief for the Braves, retiring all seven batters he faced. He registered a pair of strikeouts in Atlanta’s 4-1 defeat to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

Tonkin becomes the 27th player in Ducks history to reach the Major Leagues after playing with Long Island.

The 33-year-old returned to the Major Leagues after spending five prior seasons at the game’s highest level, all with the Minnesota Twins (2013-17). He made 141 appearances with the Twins, recording a 3-3 mark with a 4.43 ERA and 149 strikeouts to 54 walks in 146.1 innings.

“Michael proved he could succeed at a high level during his time with the Ducks,” Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff said on “He earned this opportunity to achieve his Major League dream once again, and we congratulate him on this accomplishment.”

Tonkin pitched with Long Island during the 2019 and 2021 campaigns, also serving as the team’s bullpen coach during the latter.

He posted a 5-3 record with a 0.41 ERA and 16 saves with 14 walks while striking out 52 batters. The right-hander twice had his contract purchased while with Long Island, joining the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019 (the year the Ducks won the championship) and Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League in 2021.

— Jerry Del Priore

Photo: Long Island Ducks


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