Avilan was dealt to Philadelphia from the White Sox in exchange for Felix Paulino. Avilan will add a much needed left-handed arm to the Phillies' bullpen, especially with southpaw Aaron Loup (forearm) currently on the DL. Across 58 appearances with Chicago this year, Avilan logged a 3.86 ERA and 1.36 WHIP to go along with a 46:14 K:BB over 39.2 innings. Manager Gabe Kapler will have the chance to utilize Avilan as a LOOGY in high-leverage spots. In order to make room for Avilan on the 40-man roster, Jose Taveras was designated for assignment.
Avilan allowed two hits and two inherited runners to score in two-thirds of an inning, but picked up the save in Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Tigers. Avilan picked up his second save, though he was hardly effective and needed every bit of the three-run lead the White Sox had when he entered the game. While he has the most saves of the relievers in line for save opportunities, it's best not to view the left-handed Avilan has the primary closer. Since the White Sox traded Joakim Soria, manager Rick Renteria has handed out save chances to Avilan, Jace Fry, Xavier Cedeno and Thyago Viera.
Avilan allowed two hits and struck out two over one inning in a non-save situation in Friday's 3-2 extra-inning win over the Rays. Avilan recorded the final out of the eighth inning after relievers Jace Fry and Juan Minaya combined to allow the Rays to even the score at 2-2. The eighth inning was clearly the most high-leverage situation, but manager Rick Renteria held off on using Avilan to start the frame, though the reliever picked up a save Thursday night. It could be a sign that Renteria doesn't trust Avilan with a lead in a tight situation with men on base. It's also a sign that the White Sox's end-game picture is unsettled and that any one of those three relievers is in line for save opportunities.
Avilan recorded the final two outs of Thursday's game against the Royals to earn his first career save. Manager Rick Renteria gave Jace Fry a vote of confidence after Fry blew a save chance Sunday, but he then turned to Fry in the eighth inning Thursday. Avilan got the call to close things out after right-hander Jeanmar Gomez recorded the first out of the ninth inning. We still like Fry's skills the best of the bunch, but it looks like this may be a committee moving forward with Avilan very much in the mix.
Avilan didn't allow a run in two-thirds of an inning in Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Tigers. After allowing an unearned run and then an earned run in his first two outings, Avilan hasn't allowed a run over his last two. Beyond Joakim Soria and Nate Jones at the back end of the bullpen, we're still trying to get a read on the rest of the relievers. Avilan had a scoreless spring training and looked like he'd be an important piece, but just one of his four appearances thus far is considered high-leverage. With Chicago's bullpen ERA a league-worst 7.11, manager Rick Renteria may begin to use Avilan when the stakes are higher.