September blew past us like a runaway Red Line train, scattering bits and pieces of another baseball season gone by: A crumpled up receipt from a deep-discount Nicky Delmonico jersey, a rainwater-soaked black rally towel, a few morsels of grilled onion.
But before the autumn leaves tumble to the asphalt, there are a few more takeaways from the end of this season. One of them is the better-than-expected showing of pitcher Touki Toussaint, signed amid a summer of roster shakeups that sent premier starters Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn packing.
Toussaint, thus thrust into the rotation, threw 83 innings in 2023, his biggest workload, by far, since his 2018 debut. And his best stretch of baseball was doubtlessly over the last couple of weeks, when he allowed only three earned runs and notched 14 strikeouts across three sturdy starts.
Toussaint’s wicked curveball helped stop the Sox from a complete and total end-of-season skid. Not too bad for a guy who was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians. Plus, his easy smile and charisma are badly needed in a clubhouse that’s about as joyful as a morgue.
It’ll be an effort to even scrape .500 games next season, and Toussaint’s reliability will be an asset. He has earned his spot on the roster.
2023 South Side Sox Players of the Week
Oscar Colás (February 25-March 2)
Andrew Vaughn (March 3-8)
Carlos Pérez (March 9-16)
Oscar Colás (March 17-22)
Cactus League MVP: Oscar Colás
Dylan Cease (March 30-April 5)
Luis Robert Jr. (April 6-12)
Lucas Giolito (April 13-20)
Jake Burger (April 21-27)
Lucas Giolito (April 28- May 4)
Hanser Alberto (May 5-11)
Luis Robert Jr. (May 12-18)
Michael Kopech (May 19-25)
Liam Hendriks (May 26-31)
Andrew Benintendi (June 1-8)
Lucas Giolito (June 9-14)
Zach Remillard (June 15-22)
Luis Robert Jr. (June 23-29)
Lance Lynn (June 30-July 6)
Andrew Benintendi (July 7-21)
Jake Burger (July 22-27)
Jesse Scholtens (July 28-August 3)
Andrew Vaughn (August 4-10)
Dylan Cease (August 11-17) (no art/essay)
The Fans for Enduring This Torture (August 18-23) (no art/essay)
Luis Robert Jr. (August 24-30)
No One (September 1-10)
Dylan Cease (September 11-20)
Touki Toussaint (September 21-October 1)
No standings accompany this final Player of the Week, as our usual standings will spill into the Player of the Year story we’ll publish soon. There isn’t much suspense at the top of either the MVPs or Cold Cats lists, but we’ll still have fun unveiling the winners and losers to you.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Mitch’s work, or if you’d like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for supporting local artists!