Touki Toussaint’s stay on the bereavement list following the passing of his father is over, and the Braves have optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett.
The #Braves today reinstated RHP Touki Toussaint from the bereavement list and optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 26, 2021
This latest move continues a whirlwind of roster moves for the young right-hander. Toussaint started the season on the Injured List, made rehab starts at three different levels, and was finally recalled to Atlanta after the All-Star Break. After a couple of good outings, including a seven-inning domination of the Phillies that constituted his best career start to date, Toussaint began to scuffle, mostly throwing up clunkers (a good game against the Orioles aside). He lost his rotation spot in favor of the Braves throwing bullpen games with Drew Smyly as a bulk option, and was placed on the bereavement list on Wednesday. We’ll see what the plan is for Toussaint going forward, but it’s a shame for both him and the Braves that he couldn’t make it work after that awesome start against the Phillies.
If this is it for Toussaint in 2021, he finishes the season with -0.2 fWAR in 10 starts and one relief appearance spanning 50 innings. His ERA- (105) suggests mediocre performance and is consistent with his xFIP- (108), but the HR/FB really stung him this season (23.4 percent), leading to a horrendous 138 FIP- and that disappointing fWAR figure. Toussaint tried to reinvent himself as a sinker-first hurler, but it didn’t really work, as his sinker was crushed (.423 xwOBA-against) and failed to pair well with his much better curveball and splitter. Having three pitches that all sink and end up in pretty much the same place seems like a tough way to earn a living. We’ll see what the plan is for him in 2022, though perhaps he’ll return for the last few days of the year if the Braves need another arm.