Avilán with the Atlanta Braves
|Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 43|
July 19, 1989 |
|July 14, 2012, for the Atlanta Braves|
(through 2016 season)
|Earned run average||2.98|
Avilán signed with the Atlanta Braves as an international free agent in 2005 and he began his professional career the following year with the Braves affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. In 2008, he joined the Gulf Coast Braves, his first assignment to a domestic team. He was the GCL Braves pitcher of the month for August when he had a 2.93 ERA in three starts. In 2009, he was promoted to the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League, where he made 14 appearances, including three starts and had a 3.05 ERA with two saves. In 2010, he made 41 appearances between the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League and was a combined 6–4 with a 4.33 ERA in 41 games. He also saved nine games that season as the closer for Myrtle Beach. In 2011, with the Mississippi Braves of the Southern League, he was 4–8 with a 4.57 ERA in 36 appearances, including 13 starts.
The Braves added him to their 40-man roster after the 2011 season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He began the 2012 season in Mississippi, where he was 3–6 with a 3.23 ERA 16 games (12 starts). He was promoted to the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves of the International League on July 4, 2012, but did not make an appearance for them.
On July 5, 2012, Avilán was called up by the Braves to replace the injured Jonny Venters. He made his first appearance on July 14 against the New York Mets, striking out the only batter he faced (Ike Davis). His first career win came on October 3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates on the final day of the season. In 31 appearances that season for the Braves, he had an ERA of 2.00.
Avilán made 75 appearances in 2013, posting a 1.52 earned run average with a .144 batting average against and .219 on base percentage. In addition, he made appearances in all four games of the 2013 NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing three hits but no runs in 2 2⁄3 innings. However, he struggled through the first half of the 2014 season, recording a 4.85 ERA in 47 games. Avilán was demoted to Triple A Gwinnett on July 19, 2014 and replaced by Chasen Shreve. He would finish the 2014 season with a 4.57 ERA in 62 games. 2015 was kinder to Avilán in a Braves uniform, as in 50 appearances, he posted a 3.58 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On July 30, 2015, in a three-team trade, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Avilán, Mat Latos, Michael Morse, Bronson Arroyo, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, and José Peraza, while the Miami Marlins acquired minor league pitchers Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham, and Kevin Guzman, and the Braves received Héctor Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, minor league pitcher Zachary Bird and a competitive balance draft pick for the 2016 MLB Draft. He pitched in 23 games for the Dodgers with a 5.17 ERA. At the conclusion of the season, the Dodgers signed him to a one-year, $1.39 million, contract to avoid salary arbitration though he began the season with the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers after experiencing control problems in spring training. He split the season between the minors and the majors, appearing in 33 games for Oklahoma City, with a 4.24 ERA and 27 games for Los Angeles, with a 3.20 ERA. He also pitched in 3 2⁄3 innings in the playoffs between the 2016 National League Division Series and the 2016 National League Championship Series, without allowing any earned runs. He signed a $1.5 million contract for 2017, avoiding salary arbitration.
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