WASHINGTON — Luis Avilan is expected to join the Phillies in time for Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. The Phils acquired the left-handed reliever in a deal with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
“He’s really good against left-handed hitters,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “And as you know, against Washington and Atlanta, it's nice to have the left-handed weapon.”
Washington, with Bryce Harper and Juan Soto, and Atlanta, with Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis, are both deep in difference-making lefty bats.
The Phillies traded minor-league pitcher Felix Paulino for Avilan, a seven-year veteran who pitched with the Braves and Dodgers before joining the White Sox in an offseason trade.
With Austin Davis and Aaron Loup on the disabled list, the Phillies are down to one lefty reliever, Adam Morgan. Avilan will be used as a left-on-left specialist. He has faced 77 lefty hitters this season and held them to a .214 batting average. He has walked five and struck out 21. He has not allowed a homer to a lefty.
“This was a really, really smart acquisition by Matt (Klentak, the general manager) and puts us in a much better position going forward,” Kapler said.
To make room for Avilan on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated minor-league pitcher Jose Taveras for assignment. They will have to clear a spot on the 25-man roster when Avilan arrives.