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D-backs Preview #151: 9/21 vs. Braves

Touki, we hardly knew ye...

MiLB: JUL 02 AZL Indians at AZL Diamondbacks Photo by Wilfred Perez Jr./Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jorge Soler - RF Daulton Varsho - RF
Freddie Freeman - 1B Ketel Marte - 2B
Ozzie Albies - 2B Pavin Smith - 1B
Austin Riley - 3B David Peralta - LF
Adam Duvall - CF Josh VanMeter - 3B
Eddie Rosario - LF Carson Kelly - C
Travis d'Arnaud - C Jake McCarthy - CF
Dansby Swanson - SS Ildemaro Vargas - SS
Touki Toussaint - RHP Luke Weaver - RHP

Touki Toussaint may be among the most infamous first round draft picks in Diamondbacks’ history. He was originally chosen by the team in 2014 draft - how long ago it seems now - with the 16th overall pick. But he never appeared above A-ball for Arizona, because Dave Stewart traded him to the Braves almost as soon as rules permitted, in what was basically a salary dump to get rid of Bronson Arroyo. The D-backs saved $10 million, in a deal which was heavily panned at the time: first SnakePit comment, “This trade is so bad that even Kevin Towers would laugh at how bad it was.” But, at least to this point, I’d say it likely doesn’t count as even among the five worst trades of the Stewart era.

That’s because Arroyo ended up not throwing a single pitch for the Braves, and Toussaint has top lived up to the “top of the rotation potential” suggested at the time of the draft. Indeed, he has been worth -0.6 bWAR for them so far, over 145 IP. The most valuable player in the deal so far turned out to be... drum-roll please, Phil Gosselin, who put up 1.1 bWAR for Arizona in 2015-16, while earning close to league minimum. However, Toussaint is under Atlanta control through the end of 2025, and there are indications he may still have value. This year, he has an ERA+ of 98 over ten starts, and has, at least somewhat, reined in the control issues which were previously a problem. We’ll see what he’s like tonight.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Seth Beer will have surgery on Thursday to address instability in his left shoulder as a result of the dislocation he suffered last week diving for a ball. No timeline was offered for his rehab or readiness for Spring Training next year.
  • Nick Ahmed has been battling right shoulder soreness and is out of the lineup for the 4th straight game. He will test the shoulder pre-game and while he’s considered day to day he could play in an emergency situation. However, stressing it’s been a long season, Torey said all things considered, he wanted to give him time to recuperate.
  • Kole Calhoun is not in the lineup for the second straight game. He will be in the lineup tomorrow. Torey said he spoke to Kole about playing when he first came back and this is part of the usage plan they have for him the rest of the way.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]