Luis Avilan has always been thought of as a lefty specialist. And it makes plenty of sense, given that he has held left-handed hitters to a .200 batting average in 2017. But he has lately become more of a fill-in setup man or middle relief pitcher rather than left-handed specialist.
Avilan put up some terrific numbers in August, throwing in 8 out of the 27 games for the month. In those 8 games, Avilan pitched a total of nine innings, giving up just one earned run. That would put his era for the month at 1.00, and at 2.77 for the year. Avilan has been a great full-time replacement as a left hander to make up for some significant losses. Both Adam Liberatore and Grant Dayton were lost for good parts of the season due to injuries. In fact, Dayton will have to sit out for next season as well, as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Typical recovery times for ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction ranges from 18 to 24 months at times.