Luis Armando Avilan
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 220 lb.
Avilan signed with the Atlanta Braves in August 2005; the scouts were Julian Perez, Rolando Petit and Carlos Torres. He made his pro debut with the DSL Braves, going 2-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 2006. In 2007, back with the same club, he improved to 6-3, 2.44 with a 1.00 WHIP and 71 strikeouts in 70 innings. Luis came stateside with the 2008 GCL Braves, going 0-3 with a 2.58 ERA and 49 K in 38 1/3 IP. With the Danville Braves the next year, he went 0-2 with two saves, a 3.05 ERA and only 25 hits in 38 1/3 innings. In his Venezuelan League debut that winter, he was 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA for the Cardenales de Lara.
Avilan split the summer of 2010 between the Rome Braves (2-1, 2.61 in 10 G) and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (4-3, 9 Sv, 3.94 in 31 G). He was used as a LOOGY by Lara in 2010-2011, with 21 2/3 IP in 24 games. He had no decisions and a 4.57 ERA while ranking second on the club in appearances (behind Scott Patterson). As a swingman with the Mississippi Braves, he was 4-8 with a 4.57 ERA.
He began 2012 back with Mississippi, and after going 3-6 with a 3.23 ERA in 16 games, he was called up to the majors when Jonny Venters went on the DL. He made his big league debut against the New York Mets on July 14th, striking out Ike Davis, the only batter he faced. He relieved Chad Durbin and left for pinch-hitter Matt Diaz. Atlanta won the game, 8-7. He pitched for the Braves for three and a half seasons, before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 30, 2015. His first two seasons were outstanding, as his ERA was 2.00 in 2012 and 1.52 in 2013, to go along with a 5-0 record in 75 games. He appeared in 4 games in the 2015 NLDS against the Dodgers, allowing no runs in 2 2/3 innings. His next two seasons were not as good, however, as his ERA rose to 4.57 in 2014, then was 3.58 in 50 games for the Braves in 2015 before he was traded. He did improve his strikeout rate, which was abnormally low his first three seasons. Ironically, he had gone a combined 10-1 during that span.
The trade that sent Avilan to the Dodgers was a complicated one, as it also involved the Miami Marlins and was chiefly designed to move around some bad contracts and a number of players who were currently on the disabled list. Avilan was one of only a few players who were specifically acquired by L.A. to give its team a boost looking forward to the postseason, but he was just 0-1, 5.17 in 23 games for them the rest of the year. He did appear in the postseason for the second time, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the Dodgers' loss to the New York Mets in the Division Series. In 2016, he pitched just 27 times, but was solid during those games, going 3-0, 3.20 in 27 games. He added 5 more scoreless appearances to his postseason total, appearing in both the NLDS against the Washington Nationals and the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, pitching 3 2/3 innings in the process. In 2017, he had his best year with L.A., with an ERA of 2.93 in 61 games, although those totaled just 46 innings as manager Dave Roberts used him more and more as a LOOGY. He missed the entire postseason and the Dodgers' run to game 7 of the 2017 World Series, however.
- 2012 Braves Media Guide