Former Atlanta Braves lefty reliever Luis Avilán announces retirement

Luis Avilán, a lefty specialist in the Atlanta Braves pen from 2012 through 2015, announced his retirement after a successful 10-year Major League career.
Former Atlanta Braves reliever Luis Avilán announces his retirement.
Former Atlanta Braves reliever Luis Avilán announces his retirement. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Look Deeper Than ERA

At first glance, his 2014 season looks like a significant drop-off; a 4.57 ERA and 1.569 Whip aren’t great. But using ERA as the best way to judge relievers is a bad idea.

 Avilán appeared in 43 1/3 innings over 62 games. He had two bad outings, giving up five runs in an inning on April 14 and four runs in 1 1/3 innings on September 29.

In his remaining 41 innings in 60 appearances, he:

  • Allowed two runs twice (1/3 IP),
  • One run nine times, and ( 6 2/3 IP),
  • Nothing in 35 IP over 49 appearances
  • Pitched to a 2.80 ERA and 0.854 WHIP

 Avilán’s 2015 season looked much like 2014. At the trade deadline, he’d pitched to a 3.58 ERA in 37 2/3 IP over 50 appearances, allowing runs in only seven.

Traveling With A Crowd

At the 2015 deadline, he was part of the great three-team 13-player shuffle that allowed John Coppolella to realize his dream of bringing a player tried and failed to sign (Hector Olivera) to the Braves while dumping Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo and others.

 Avilán spent two and a half seasons with LA and pitched well for them in regular and postseason play before being traded to the White Sox in another three-team trade, but this one only involved seven players.

The Sox sent him to the Phillies in a waiver trade on August 22, and the Phillies let him walk when the season ended. He went on to play for the Mets in 2019 and the Yankees in 2020.

In 2021, Avilán signed with the Nationals and opened his account with a shutout inning against the Braves on April 7. Unfortunately for Luis, his time in Washington ended with UCL replacement surgery.

He signed a Minor League deal with the Nationals in 2022 but didn’t get called up. After sitting out 2023, he decided to retire on October 21.

That’s a Wrap

I hated the idea of a lefty specialist, but they existed, and Luis Avilán filled that role well. He was a dependable arm from the pen during his time with Atlanta, even though fans didn’t always see it that way.

He went on to have a productive 10-year career with contending teams in both leagues. The staff at The House That Hank Built thanks Luis for his time with the Braves and wishes him and his family success in the future.