Braves: No need for a six-man rotation, Touki Toussaint is the guy

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I’m not exactly sure what the Braves’ plan was now that Ian Anderson is back in the rotation. They skipped Touki Toussaint‘s turn last time around and used him out of the bullpen in the series against the Giants. However,’s Mark Bowman reported last night that the Braves do, in fact, plan on giving Toussaint a start against the Rockies at Coors Field, allowing the rest of the rotation to get some extra rest. I’m happy to hear that, but that’s not far enough. Toussaint should be the undisputed fifth member of this rotation, and the Braves need to find another plan for Drew Smyly.

Frankly, I have no idea whose bright idea it was to give Smyly a start over Toussaint in a series against the Dodgers. You couldn’t draw up a worst possible matchup. Smyly seems to relish giving up the long ball, and few teams like to smack balls out of the yard more than the Dodgers. The result was easily predictable.

Before Smyly could even get out of the third inning, Los Angeles already had four home runs, leading to a five-run lead. The Braves were able to fight back the rest of the way and make things interesting, but you’re not going to win many games against the Dodgers when you spot them five runs.

Smyly’s final line of 4.2 innings, 9 hits, and 5 earned runs with four strikeouts doesn’t look pretty, but the eye test was even worse. The only pitch he could get past the Dodgers was his curveball. Every time he turned to his fastball, it was batting practice. The only good thing about it was that most of the damage was done with no runners on; Smyly’s lucky the score didn’t look much worse by the time he exited.

As disappointed as I was that the Braves decided to roll with Smyly over Toussaint last night, it did provide a perfect picture of what would happen if Smyly was allowed to pitch in the playoffs. I’m not even sure if he’s playable in the postseason, and there’s no way he should get a start. I understand he’s been better as of late, but his overall numbers paint a clear picture. Smyly is boasting a 4.75 ERA this season, and his 5.35 FIP suggests he is even benefitting from some luck.

Meanwhile, the Braves chose to roll with this guy over Toussaint, who has been straight filth ever since they called him up from Gwinnett. In his last four starts, he’s posted a 2.86 ERA, and the Braves won all four games. In fact, out of seven starts, Toussaint has only allowed more than two earned runs once, and that came in a forgetful outing against a powerful Brewers team over a month ago. This is a player that was always thought to have top of the rotation type stuff, yet when he finally starts to show it, the Braves decide to skip him in the rotation in favor of Drew Smyly?

I get Alex Anthopoulos spent a healthy chunk of change on Smyly this past offseason, but enough is enough. This isn’t getting any better; it’s time to accept the losses and play the best players. There’s not even a reason for the Braves to go to a six-man rotation. It’s very evident who the five-best starters are, and it would be foolish to keep messing around with Smyly. After all, the Braves are now only 3.5 games up in the NL East, and there’s still a month left of baseball to play.


1 thought on “Braves: No need for a six-man rotation, Touki Toussaint is the guy”

  1. Pingback: Braves: No need for a six-man rotation, Touki Toussaint is the guy - TheAtlantaStar

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