Touki Toussaint’s promotion to Angels serves as a reunion of sorts for pitcher
Right-handed pitchers Touki Toussaint and Chase Silseth were called up to the Angels on Saturday before their 9-7 comeback win over the Texas Rangers.
In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned relievers Elvis Peguero and José Marte to triple-A Salt Lake. Peguero on Friday had a particularly ugly outing, coming in to get the last out of the ninth inning of a game in which the Angels were down 2-0. Peguero gave up three runs (none earned) on three hits with two wild pitches and the Rangers ended up beating the Angels 7-2.
Silseth has been back and forth between Salt Lake, making spot starts as needed, and he started again Saturday. Toussaint’s call-up, interim manager Phil Nevin explained, was both out of a need for more arms in the bullpen and as a safeguard for Silseth.
Patrick Sandoval held the Rangers scoreless into the sixth inning before a momentum-changing mistake by Jo Adell allowed Texas to take control.
Silseth previously made a spot start July 7 in Baltimore. He gave up four earned runs, including a home run, on six hits over four innings.
“We needed some bulk today in case that were to happen [again],” Nevin said before Saturday’s game.
That happened again. Silseth gave up five runs, including a home run, on five hits over four innings before being replaced by Toussaint, who surrendered a two-run homer to give Texas a 7-4 lead.
Toussaint, who is from Pembroke Pines, Fla., started his professional career with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who drafted him No. 16 overall in 2014. He’d been familiar with several faces in the Angels organization before they picked him up July 4.
“He walked in with a smile on his face seeing some familiar people,” Nevin said, “and a lot of times that’s big.”
Bench coach Ray Montgomery was the head of the Diamondbacks scouting department the year Toussaint was drafted. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Phil Gosselin — who started Saturday’s game as the Angels third baseman — in 2015. Nevin said he first got to know Toussaint when he was coaching in the Arizona Fall League — Nevin coached the Diamondbacks affiliate Reno Aces from 2014 to 2016.
Down by three in the eighth, Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher help spearhead the Angels’ 9-7 comeback victory over the Texas Rangers.
Toussaint also was acquainted with general manager Perry Minasian and assistant GM Alex Tamin, who also were with the Braves before coming to the Angels in November 2020.
Also along Toussaint’s journey, he got to interact with Angels prospect Jo Adell and some of the minor leaguers in the Angels system such as Monte Harrison and Ty Buttrey before becoming an Angel himself. Toussaint, at one point seen as one of the Braves’ top pitching prospects, was designated for assignment July 2.
“Oh it was definitely exciting,” Toussaint said of being picked up by the Angels and called up. “It was like all right, at least I’m going to see some faces I know. So definitely excited to be a part of the Angels organization.”
Herget hopes to return
On the topic of bullpen arms, right-hander Jimmy Herget, who has been on the injured list with a right shoulder impingement, was back in the clubhouse Saturday.
He was sent on a rehab assignment through double-A Rocket City, where he pitched four innings through three games.
“I feel good,” Herget said before the game. “Ready to get back out there, that’s for sure.”
There is no set date for his return just yet.
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