Luis Avilan (by Rusty S.)

Luis Avilan is now two seasons removed from a frankly unremarkable minor league career, and seems to have found his stride as a Major League reliever, coming off a second consecutive outstanding season. The 24 year old Avilan has now thrown 101 innings at the Major League level and allowed only 67 hits, on his way to a 1.69 career ERA and a 0.980 WHIP. 65 of those innings came in 2013, along with a 1.52 ERA and a 0.954 WHIP.

In 2013, the left handed Avilan faced left handed batters about 45% of the time, a higher percentage than what is found in the subset of nature that we call Major League Baseball, and he was 10 innings short of averaging an inning per game. The role seemed to be more than a LOOGY, but biased towards it, which is proper usage I believe. He was effective against both right handers and left handers in the small sample available, with a .202 BA against righties and a .144 BA against lefties.

Two red flags for 2014 are Avilan’s K/9IP and batting average on balls in play. Avilan did not have a dominating season strikeout wise in 2013, with 38 K’s in those 65 IP, for a rate of 5.3 K/9IP, and the BABIP was a historically unsustainable .205.

While I prefer to celebrate what Avilan did in 2013, it would be dangerous to ignore the probability that he won’t repeat it in 2014. You know, in case any of the trade scenarios involving Craig Kimbrel include replacing him with Luis Avilan.

71 thoughts on “Luis Avilan (by Rusty S.)”

  1. RE: that Boone Logan contract. Wow. Cray cray. Probably does drive the EOF asking price up. A question for the group re: EOF, though. How much premium would you add to his contract offer in order to lock down the LH reliever corps, and thus ensure that Alex Wood is starting either in AAA or the bigs?

    Also, Kansas City just picked up Omar Infante through his age 39 season. This is mostly relevant to the Braves because it removes yet another 2B option from the Yankees wish list and moves them one click closer to thinking “well, we could at least kick the tires on Dan Uggla, right?”

  2. I bet we just signed Gavin Floyd. He has a deal with a team but the team is unknown. Sounds very Bravish if you ask me.

  3. A big THANK YOU to whoever mentioned Jason Isbell in the last threat (Sam?). Started to listen to his music last week. Lovin it.

  4. Gavin Floyd is a perfect buy-low candidate: TJ surgery, re-establishing value, willing to take a 1-year incentive-laden contract, and seems to have always been on the cusp of being really good. He could do very well under Roger.

  5. You’re welcome. The odds on favorite for my album of the year. Isbell’s first three solo albums were okay, but he seemed to have trouble finding enough quality material to fill out a record by himself. When he was one of the three-headed country rock monster in Drive-by Truckers he could produce 2-3 outstanding songs per album, Patterson would do the same, Cooley would contribute a few, and that’s a locked down, no-weaknesses album. As a solo artist, his releases before “Southeastern” were very much “two or three good to great songs, and filler.” “Southeastern” is 100% great, start to back. Love, love, love, love, love it.

  6. I like the signing if the money’s right. It looks like it would be. He’s in his prime, he’s coming off of surgery, and he’s got a ton of upside. Smart move.

  7. The Kimbrel trade thing is going to be a worse incessant offseason topic than Chipper-to-first until he finally is traded, or leaves via free agency, or is released after Tommy John or whatever.

  8. Barring Charlie Morton money(!) I have not problem with a flyer on Gavin Floyd.

    (!)”Charlie Morton money” is a thing now. That’s sick.

  9. @10

    Agreed. It is rapidly approaching “shoot me in the face” territory and it’s only been three months.

    Also, I thought all those deals in the B-R article sucked. Again, stop trying to actively make next year’s team worse. That is and should be a non-starter. If we get something in the trade that makes next year’s team better, I’d listen, but we’re not trading Craig Kimbrel for prospects like we’re the Houston Astros or something. Prospects can be involved, but also involved has to be a major piece (probably with only a year or two left on his contract) that makes this team better.

  10. Morton just got 3/21

    I guess I’ll be the one to say, I don’t see how Gavin Floyd helps our rotation. I don’t think he’s better than anyone in the rotation currently. What am I missing?

  11. Floyd isn’t better than anyone already slated for a spot. Not sure I see the point either. He had his surgery in May, and usually pitchers come back after 12 months at the earliest, but usually take 16 months to really fully recover.

    This is the kind of signing you’d expect from the Pirates or Royals of a few years ago.

  12. Maybe the Braves should just sell their complete A ball team for David Price. Seriously, what do you guys expect? Mother of pearl…

  13. #20 – Thats a little over the top. I’m just making the point that it’s a risky way to spend money when it may not be an upgrade in any way. It may work out, but who gets booted from the rotation to make room for him? David Hale can probably give you the same production for league minimum.

  14. @21
    And who can give better production that comes without a Multi-year price, without trading Kimbrel, or without trading serious prospects, of which we can’t afford. The prospects are slim and the FA money is outrageous. Taking a chance on a 1-year rebound is the best choice for the ’14 Braves, unless you want to trade Kimbrel.

  15. Seems like the Braves aren’t convinced that Alex Wood should be in the rotation. Well, at least for a whole season, until Floyd is ready.

  16. #4
    If you’re looking for more quality Isbell from his DBT days, check “Outfit” from the Decoration Day album & “Goddamn Lonely Love” from the Dirty South album.

  17. @23- Or maybe they (probably rightly) figure someone will inevitably get hurt or Beachy won’t be able to hold up for a full season and Floyd is (hopefully) cheap insurance against those possibilities.

  18. Gavin Floyd blows.

    No, he doesn’t. If he’s healthy. He’s had some really good years. Better by fWAR than any other starter currently in our rotation.

    Floyd isn’t better than anyone already slated for a spot.

    Yeah, he certainly is, if he’s healthy, if Beachy won’t be ready, or if the Braves want to limit Wood’s innings. You’ve got to presume the Braves know what they’re doing.

    And who can give better production…without trading serious prospects, of which we can’t afford.

    To be clear, we could afford it — because we have prospects to trade — but we’re just choosing not to do it. And we could afford FAs too, if Liberty would loosen the purse strings. But they won’t because it’s in their long term interests to maintain a tease, not a team.

    If I step inside my Stockholm Syndrome and force myself to empathize with Liberty — an Orwellian name for the entity that is holding my fandom hostage if there ever were one — then this is a pretty good signing.

  19. I’m good with Gavin Floyd. They lookin for stuff and experience. Might play well in October. I’m lookin for no real money to get tied up.
    Everybody wins.

  20. Wren is doing his FA shopping at the garage sales. Looking for low cost value. I like the approach. Better than 75M for BJ.

  21. When analyzing Gavin Floyd numbers, a few things should be looked at a bit deeper before judging this move:

    1. U.S. Cellular Field- Historically, a huge hitter’s park. Gavin, for his career, has actually pitched better on the road. In ’13, the Braves team ERA was a full run more (3.7 compared to 2.7)on the road vs. home. The White Sox was less than half of that.

    2. League ERA- On any given year, the average NL ERA is 5-10% lower than the average AL ERA.

    3. He’s a ground ball pitcher. Alexei Ramirez is good but he’s no Andrelton.

    4. According to WAR, has had 3 full seasons better than Jeff Samardzija’s best (’09-’11), whom many here want to trade a prospect package to acquire.

    Factor in all of the above and Gavin Floyd could easily be a 3 ERA pitcher at Turner Field that costs no prospects and very little money (compared to the other SP options on the FA market).

  22. @33. Maybe Wren is stockpiling pitching so that he has more bullets to trade? Or we don’t have much confidence in Beachy’s return…

  23. Any word yet how much we’re paying Cliff Floyd?

    And I’m among the skeptics on Wood as a starter. Show me more, bulldawg. We saw him pitch very well early on, but the last couple of weeks his command left him. I would like to see him prove his strength and consistency before we start up a season without a back-up plan for him. In my view he’s better as Kimbrel’s heir next year.

    Also: Wood’s got sort of a doofy face. Is that really what we want in a big game?

  24. From Talking Chop re Floyd:

    “Even if Floyd is indeed heading to Atlanta, don’t expect him on the mound anytime soon.

    Floyd sought multiple opinions on the injury, hoping major surgery could be avoided, but he received bad news every step of the way.

    Not only will Floyd have surgery on the tear in his flexor muscle near his right elbow, but he also will have his ulnar collateral ligament repaired. Recovery time is expected to be anywhere from 14 to 19 months.”

  25. I’d be shocked if Mark Hamilton got more than 10 at-bats with the 2014 Braves. It’s not like Ernesto Mejia or Barbaro Canizares ever got a chance. At least Conrad could be hidden at 2nd or 3rd — there just isn’t much room for a Quad-A 1B/LF on the teams that the Braves construct. He’s just injury insurance.

  26. Cheerio from London. Edward made me laugh… Cliff Floyd’s last contract, as a 36 year old, was for $750,000, so by now he ought to be pretty cheap…. actually, I think he mostly does bar mitzvahs now.

  27. Folks digging the Americana vibe of Isbell might give John Fullbright a listen. Okie prairie drawl. Debut is call “from the ground up.”

  28. Thanks, Remy! I’ll definitely check them out. Baseball has had to implement some pretty crazy rules to counter tactics teams have used to try to gain an advantage…

  29. Hmmmm. Sticking explicitly in the twangy fields, I’d also suggest:

    Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture Of You
    Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park
    Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers – s/t

    Those all ring true to me with enough grit and grime to earn their “roots” so to speak. I’m not a very big fan of the sort of pseudo-roots, twee-folk revivalism that has been very popular of late, so I don’t really get much out of The Head & The Heart or The Lone Bellow, though both of those get really great reviews from other folks I respect. Neko Case has a new album out this year too, and she’s about as solid a bet as you’ll find in the genre. But I play that Kacey Musgraves record way more than I do Neko’s.

    Those are Americana albums that have stuck with me this year, though I just read that Ha Ha Tonka released a new record this year too, which I did not know. They’re one of my favorite bands in that space.

  30. Even in Neko Case’s good reviews, she still gets underrated. It’s amazing how many things conspire to overshadow the quality of her work in the narrative of her career, as laid out in the music press:

    -Being consistently quite good, yet never exactly stellar, for a while now
    -Flirting stylistically (country, folk, pop, gospel, balladry…and more and more, there’s noise/dissonance bubbling up), but not totally committing to something critics can easily pigeonhole
    -Being more of a side player in another band with a little bit of a higher profile in some crowds
    -Being celebrated more for her voice than her songwriting (Reeks of sexism to me)
    -Being known for her looks/the Playboy thing
    -Being really good at Twitter

    She’s just really good, is what she is.

  31. Don’t forget the whole “Neko said she can’t get laid on New Pornographers tours/what does this mean about modern feminism” Internet Argument from a couple of years ago! That was quite a throwdown.

  32. 38: To be clear, that “14-19 months” thing is from a story written in May. If the Braves think it’s 19, they obviously wouldn’t sign him.

  33. The Braves have been “close to a deal” on Floyd for a while now. Presumably the tricky particulars of the medicals are a big part of the holdup. I could imagine that one way out would be to include a cheap vesting option for 2015 as a hedge against a slower-than-hoped recovery.

  34. Floyd deal done. 4 million base + incentives that can earn him 4.5 million more. That’s a bit more than what I thought it’d be.

  35. Well I hope he earns every incentive. I’m surprised that Wren would offer Floyd this amount of money, but is only interested in offering Garcia a minor league contract per DOB.

  36. In my opinion, that’s a terrific deal. This is a guy who has the upside to be an above-average starter and the floor of a fifth starter. That’s a very small contract for a guy with that upside, even if he isn’t ready until May or June.

  37. Floyd is there to provide cheap depth. There is no such thing as too much pitching.

    I’m starting to think the Braves feel Medlen, Beachy and Minor (or some combination) have front line ACE potential. That or they are content with this roation and hope we catch fire in October.

    The “Catch Fire in October” plan really isn’t working.

  38. So a rotation of Medlen, Minor, Teheran, Floyd, Beachy with Wood in the bullpen? Does that close the door on EOF returning since we will have Avilan, Wood, and Venters already there? I guess the Samardzija deal could take place if we could offer them Beachy and Hale in a package.

  39. Wood or Hale will start in the rotation until Floyd heals. By that time, there could be another opening with possibilities of injuries or ineffectiveness.

  40. Dan Uggla is probably looking pretty sweet to the Yankees right about now. Here are the 2nd base/SS FA options left for their starting 2b job:
    Alexi Casilla (29)
    Jamey Carroll (40)
    Chris Getz (30)
    Alberto Gonzalez (31)
    Paul Janish (31)
    Elliot Johnson (30)
    Brian Roberts (36)
    Ramon Santiago (34)
    Jordany Valdespin (26)
    Robert Andino (30)
    Stephen Drew (31)
    Alex Gonzalez (36)
    Nick Green (35)
    Cesar Izturis (34)
    Munenori Kawasaki (32)
    John McDonald (39)
    Jayson Nix (31)
    Omar Quintanilla (32)
    Cody Ransom (38)

  41. DOB reporting that barring no setbacks Floyd could be ready as early as May. I don’t mind the deal but on the surface it doesn’t make sense. Raises more questions than it gives us answers.

  42. Yeah they could start KJ, but I think they will want to add someone. They could make a run at Brandon Phillips or Rickie Weeks. Just don’t think they can sell the Cano/KJ offseason swap.

  43. The plan seems simple: Use Wood in the rotation until Floyd returns, them move him to the bullpen to limit his innings. A reverse-Medlen.
    What’s complicated?

  44. One thing on Floyd, is that gives innings protection on Wood. If Wood starts until July 1 and then goes to the pen he finishes with around 140 regular season innings and can go 20 or 30 more in postseason.

    Also, we know injuries happen.

    posted before seeing Ryan c at 65.

  45. His numbers have regressed every season since 2008. He missed the majority of last season with TJ surgery. He was a middle to back end of the rotation type starter before the injury. I just think it’s an odd addition and way of allocating $4-8.5 mil. I think Alex Wood showed enough last season for us to keep him in the rotation. This move is probably Beachy insurance more than anything, but I would’ve rather seen them just keep Freddy Garcia for half that amount.

    Either way, it won’t make or break our season. I hope Floyd gets healthy and pitches well for us.

  46. Ricky Weeks for Dan Uggla and Joey Terdoslavich? Weeks has an option that vests with 600 PA. If he gets 600 PA, I’d guess we’d want that option to vest.

  47. @67
    What regressed? His ERA? Almost every other stat was an improvement over the next 3 years (FIP, xFIP, HR/9, WAR, K/9). The big difference: his BABIP was 30 points lower in ’08.

  48. I like the signing. Yes, a 2015 option would be preferred, but if you see what other FA starters are getting, this seems like a good bet to me.

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