What a day for Touki Toussaint.
After battling a shoulder injury for much of the first half of the 2021 season, Toussaint put on a masterful display against one of the best teams in baseball in the Braves 2-1 over the Padres. Toussaint was amazing, as he only needed 79 pitches to complete 6 2⁄3 innings while allowing one earned run and five strikeouts. He made the pitches he needed to get out of jams a few times, but also showed very good command and usage of his entire arsenal of pitches.
Toussaint’s success should not be all that surprising when it comes to season debuts. In 2018, 2019, and now 2021, Toussaint has completed at least six innings and allowed one or less earned runs in each of these starts. His performance could not have come at a better time, as the Braves starting rotation has certainly had a few changes to its alignment over the past 48 hours.
If Toussaint can build off his success at Gwinnett and this great start to his MLB season, he certainly could be an impactful arm for the Braves over the next few months. In whatever role he fills, he certainly has the talent to produce effective results like he did tonight.
- The news of the day for the Braves certainly focused on young pitching. The biggest news of the day was Atlanta agreeing to terms with 2021 first round pick Ryan Cusick of Wake Forest. Cusick signed for $2.7M, which comes in slightly under the pegged money amount for his selection slot.
- The Braves have now signed 18 of their 20 picks in less than a week since the 2021 MLB Draft concluded. The two remaining unsigned selections are pitcher Ryan Anglin and Ty Evans, who were picked in the 16th and 20th rounds. While the Braves expect to sign Anglin, Evans has always been considered a long shot due to his commitment to play at the University of Florida.
- While the Braves have had success getting things in order off the field, it was a day of reorganizing in terms of who will be taking the mound. Atlanta changed the order of its rotation a few times on Tuesday:
RHP Bryse Wilson is now set to start tomorrow’s Game 2. LHP Kyle Muller is still the probable starter for Game 1.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 20, 2021
The end result will be Kyle Muller and Bryse Wilson starting Game 1 and Game 2, respectively, of today’s double header. After the Braves earned a victory last night, a split or better today would be a big positive for Atlanta.
- The decisions as to who will be on the mound today gives a good idea of how the Braves rotation will look for the rest of July, as Kris Willis notes. Furthermore, some key injury updates were provided on Travis d’Arnaud, Huascar Ynoa, and Ian Anderson. The Braves could get d’Arnaud back in the near future if he performs well in workouts, while Ynoa could be ramping up in sides sessions and bullpen sessions soon. While Ian Anderson is feeling better, the Braves feel it could be a good bit of time before he makes his return. His long-term health is rightfully the biggest priority.
- With 10 days left before the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline, Jeff Passan dived into the latest news and rumors around the league:
20 Questions: Trade Deadline Edition
All you need to know about where talks stand. Buxton, Bryant, Gallo, Berrios, Kimbrel, Story, Cruz, Marte. Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, both Sox, Phils, Giants, more. Sticky stuff changing the market.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 20, 2021
Though the Braves are not expected to be in play for any big names, several significant talents are discussed (Espn+ insider subscription needed). One other key point is that many teams’ roles at the deadline are still to be determined.
- One of the biggest names and most likely players to be traded at the deadline is Kris Bryant. For a bit of time on Tuesday, it seemed possible that a trade could be near as he was removed from the Cubs game early. However, he actually was taken out of the game due to a hamstring injury.
- While the Boston Red Sox may be an active team at the trade deadline, they also could get a big boost internally from the return of Chris Sale. He was dominant in his rehab start in AA on Tuesday, and could be back in Boston soon. His addition to the Red Sox could be huge for Boston in their pursuit of the AL East division and the postseason.
- With the NL East being one of the closer races in baseball, the Braves are far from the only team looking to be active over the next few weeks. The Mets have identified starting pitching as their biggest need at the deadline, while the Nationals know they will also have to identify what route to take as buyers or sellers in the very near future.