Phillies

Phillies

The Phillies may have found the left-handed specialist they've needed for several years.

GM Matt Klentak made another trade Wednesday, acquiring veteran lefty reliever Luis Avilan from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor-league right-hander Felix Paulino.

Avilan, a 29-year-old out of Venezuela, has a 3.33 ERA the last three seasons. He's held lefties to a .212 batting average throughout his seven-year major-league career.

Avilan had a 3.86 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 39⅔ innings for the White Sox, who are in rebuilding mode and don't have as much of a need for a lefty specialist as the Phillies.

Avilan is under team control next season, so this move could bear fruit in 2019 as well. Avilan and the White Sox avoided arbitration this season with a one-year, $2.45 million deal. About $500,000 of the 2018 salary remains.

Paulino is a 23-year-old reliever who has spent this season at Single A Clearwater and Double A Reading.

On July 31, the Phils acquired veteran lefty Aaron Loup from the Blue Jays, though he landed on the DL last week with a forearm strain. 

The same day Loup went on the DL, so did lefty Austin Davis with lower back tightness.

The Phillies' other lefty in the 'pen is Adam Morgan, who has struggled throughout the season. He has a 4.30 ERA and has allowed 11 of 34 inherited runners to score. 

Avilan goes mostly with a low-90s fastball and low-80s changeup. He also has a curveball.

The Phillies will need all the left-handed pitching help they can get with seven games remaining against Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and the Braves. They'll also face Bryce Harper eight more times, Anthony Rizzo and Daniel Murphy three times and Charlie Blackmon four times.

 

Avilan hasn't faced Freeman or Markakis much but has plenty of experience against the others.

Harper: 2 for 12, four walks, five strikeouts

Blackmon: 1 for 11, two strikeouts

Murphy: 7 for 20, double, six RBI, two strikeouts

Rizzo: 2 for 7, two strikeouts

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