Touki Toussaint made his major league debut for the AZL Dbacks Wednesday night. The first batter he faced...wait for it...walked. The next hitter struck out looking. The next struck out swinging. The next doubled to right scoring the runner from first. After a passed ball advanced the runner on second to third, he got the final out on another swinging strikeout. That was it for Toussaint finishing with 1 run allowed on 1 hit and 1 walk with 3 strikeouts. All-in-all a successful debut. The Dbacks are ultra-conservative with these high school pitchers and he likely won't get more than 1 or 2 innings in his next couple of outings. They are doing the same with 2nd round pick Cody Reed.
In case it wasn't mentioned earlier Toussaint signed for $2.7 million, about $350,000 above slot. So that pretty much wiped out a chunk of the additional funds save from other below-slot signings that might have been used to sign one of the upside high schoolers who were drafted late. But there are still a couple of weeks until the signing deadline so we'll see if anything develops on that front.
The Dbacks did sign two international players on the first day of the international free agent period. They signed Marlon Arroyo, a Dominican third baseman, for $350,000 and Remy Cordero, a Dominican outfielder, also for $350,000. The Dbacks have over $2 million available for international signings so we'll keep monitoring to see if they do anything else. The Yankees are on a mega-international signing spree going way over their limits knowing they'll be paying a hefty tax and be prohibited from high dollar signings over the next couple of years. The other NL West teams have made splashier signings than the Dbacks but Wednesday was only the first day.
3 Stars: Dane McFarland, Missoula 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR (1), 2 RBI
2 Stars: Pedro Ruiz, Hillsboro 3 for 4, 2 R, 2 DBL, 1 RBI, 1 SB
1 Star: Trevor Cahill, Reno 6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 ER, W (1-1)
0 Stars: Luis Veras, AZL 0 for 4, 3 K
AAA: Reno 7 @ Tacoma 0. The Trevor Cahill of old was on display with 6 shutout innings on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. It was his best start since he was sent to the minors to try and work through his troubles. One game certainly won't draw any "he's back" conclusions, but one has to start somewhere. The offense took some of the pressure off with 7 runs in the middle innings. Danny Dorn and Alfredo Marte hit home runs and Tony Campana had 2 hits including a triple and 2 RBI. The Dbacks signed former Cubs major league infielder Ronny Cedeno to fill up one of the Reno spots vacated by Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed.
AA: Game 1. Mobile 6 @ Jackson 1. This was the continuation of the game Archie Bradley started on Tuesday. The game was close until the Bay Bears scored 2 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th, courtesy of a Dustin Martin 3-run homer. Todd Glaesmann was 3 for 5 with 2 stolen bases. Mark Thomas delivered a triple and 2 RBI while Jake Lamb was 1 for 3 with 2 walks.
AA: Game 2. Mobile 0 @ Jackson 3. No offense from Mobile in this one with just 3 hits, all singles. Michael Lee pitched all 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Up against a shutout that wasn't good enough. Jake Lamb was perfect going 1 for 1 with 2 walks.
A+: Visalia 6 Bakersfield 7. Aaron Blair followed Braden Shipley's lead last start with a stinker of his own allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks in less than 5 innings. He did strike out 5. His undoing was the 5th inning when he surrendered 5 runs on 3 hits sandwiched around a pair of walks followed by a fielding error. Up to that point he had a pretty good outing going. The offense kept pecking away at the subsequent 6-2 deficit until finally tying the game at 6-6 in the 8th inning on an Alex Glenn RBI single. But a walk, a bunt and a single off Kyle Schepel in the top of the 9th ended the comeback. Rudy Flores went 3 for 5 with a double and Alex Glenn was 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI.
A: South Bend 5 @ Great Lakes 4. The Silver Hawks jumped out to an early 5-0 and held on 5-4 thanks to the bullpen tandem of Daniel Gibson and Silvino Bracho. Both relievers pitched shutout innings in the 8th and 9th with a pair of strikeouts each. Bracho is piling up some gaudy stats with 43 strikeouts versus just 6 walks and 9 hits in 25 innings. The offense only had 5 hits with solo home runs from Daniel Palka and Breland Almadova. Palka has 17 home runs in 80 games to date this season. Andrew Velazquez stole his 33rd base though he did strike out 3 times.
A-: Hillsboro 8 Everett 7. The Hops were another that got out to an early lead, this one 6-0, and held on for an 8-7 win. Starter Scott Schultz was pretty solid allowing 3 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings. But reliever Dan Savas almost gave it all away with 4 runs allowed in relief. Zac Curtis came on and got his 5th save with a shutout 9th on 2 walks and 1 strikeout. Curtis' peripherals early on are a little erratic. His strikeout totals are good with 14 in 8 innings but 7 hits and 6 walks make for a bulky WHIP. Pedro Ruiz led the offense going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Grant Heyman was 2 for 4 with a double and Cesar Carrasco had a pair of singles.
R: Missoula 2 Billings 7. Dane McFarland hit a game-tying 2-run homer in the 7th inning that gave the Osprey a chance, but a bullpen implosion by Derek Cape in the 9th ended those ideas. Brad Keller had a decent start allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks over 5 innings. Jency Solis and Wagner Mateo followed with shutout relief innings including a pair of strikeouts each before the Cape disaster. McFarland had half the team's hits going 3 for 4 with the big blast.
AZL: Dbacks 3 Indians 4. Anyone in the Valley could have gone out to see Touki Toussaint's first professional start at Salt River Field and for the most part it was a successful one, albeit brief. He struck out the side in his only inning of work but allowed a run on a leadoff walk and a 2-out double to right. Dallas Newton followed with 5.2 yeoman innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk with 4 strikeouts. Cody Clark and Adam Miller each struck out 3 in their relief innings. Mark Trumbo in his second rehab game, this time playing left field, hit a 2-run homer in his 3rd and final at bat in the 6th inning. He was 1 for 3 on the night. The Dbacks only had 2 other hits in the game.