7:18 pm July 6, 2012, by Carroll Rogers
Left-hander Luis Avilan had quite the surprise in store this week, when what started out as a call-up to Triple-A Gwinnett turned into his first major league call-up. The Braves needed another left-hander in their bullpen with Jonny Venters’ placement on the disabled list with an elbow impingement.
So Avilan got to join the team he grew up rooting for in Cabudare, Venezuela. Avilan said about the time he started following baseball, his favorite player Andres Galarraga played for the Braves. Avilan and his father attended one of the exhibition games the Braves played against Tampa during spring training of 2000 as a 10-year-old.
“When you sign you’re waiting all your career to be here some day,” Avilan said. “But when you finally make it, it’s like a dream and you don’t want to wake up.”
He had a 3.23 ERA in 16 games (12 starts) in Mississippi, with 55 strikeouts and 31 walks in 61 1/3 innings. Left-handers were hitting just .189 against him.
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more