Monday, May 11, 2015

Player's Ink: Luis Avilan

I picked up today's featured card at the card show I attended this past weekend. I was a little hesitant about buying it, as I have decided to forego the idea of including autographed cards in team sets. The price tag ($5) and the fact that it's a tough card to get (#/214) out of an online exclusive led me to ultimately adding it to my collection.

Turkey of a Game
In a game against Philadelphia last April, left-handed reliever Luis Avilan became the first pitcher in 80 years to get a Win after giving up at least 5 runs in an inning or less. It was just one of many ineffective outings for Avilan during a 2014 season where he would get demoted to AAA in mid-July. The struggles were particularly troubling because Luis had been such an important part of the bullpen during the previous two seasons. Perhaps it was due to the fact that he was overused during his first two seasons (31 games in 2.5 months in '12 & 75 games in '13) or, as some have suggested, his peripherals indicate he just finally ran out of luck. Whatever the case, with an inexperienced (and bad) bullpen in 2015, Atlanta needs Luis to return to his 2012/2013 form.

Signature Pitch
Lefties who throw hard are a special breed and Avilan is no different. His best pitch is a mid-90s two-seam sinking fastball that has a lot of movement, causing him to get a lot of ground balls. He also throws a curveball. On the downside, Luis does not miss a lot of bats, as indicated by his career 1.89 so/w ratio.

According to the Beckett database, this is the only set that features an Avilan autograph. Of course, it's kind of tough to have many signed cards when you're included in so few sets (Luis' only other cards are found in 2013 Topps Update and 2014 Topps Update, respectively).

1 comment:

  1. There were a lot of rather "interesting" autograph inclusions in that Turkey Red set. I hope it goes away for a while so that we get a decent effort the next time around.