Avilan wants to help bring playoffs to Chicago White Sox

Updated 2/17/2018 8:27 AM
  • White Sox pitcher Luis Avilan gets in some work at spring training at Glendale, Arizona, and Camelback Ranch on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

      White Sox pitcher Luis Avilan gets in some work at spring training at Glendale, Arizona, and Camelback Ranch on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. SCOT GREGOR | Staff Photographer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When he was traded to the Chicago White Sox on Jan. 4, Luis Avilan didn't have to ask for directions to spring training.

The 28-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who share Camelback Ranch with the Sox.

He's now on the other side of the training complex, and Avilan's new goal is helping the White Sox achieve the same kind of success as the Dodgers, who have made five straight playoff appearances.

Avilan, acquired with reliever Joakim Soria in a three-way deal that sent minor-league infielder Jake Peter to Los Angeles, also went to the playoffs twice when he pitched for the Atlanta Braves.

"I've been in five playoffs already and it's always a great experience," Avilan said. "It's fun because you separate the regular season from the playoffs, and the playoffs are a different animal. I want to go back to the playoffs because it's a great feeling."

In 11 postseason appearances, Avilan has thrown 7⅔ scoreless innings. He was not able to pitch for the Dodgers in last years playoffs due to a sore shoulder, but the left-hander is fully recovered.

"I feel great," said Avilan, who was 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 61 regular season games with Los Angeles last year. "I had a shoulder problem last year and unfortunately I missed the playoffs. But right now, my shoulder feels 100 percent."

Avilan fits right into to a Sox bullpen that's been dismantled by trades and injuries.

"He's got some years under his belt in terms of experience," manager Rick Renteria said. "He's a guy you can use in middle situations, try to get you out of innings, get you out of particular situations."

Goal oriented:

When Mark Buehrle pitched for the White Sox, he didn't pay much attention to wins and losses or other statistics.

Buehrle's goal year in and year out was pitching 200 innings, and he reached it 11 straight years.

Lucas Giolito has a similar goal this season.

"I want to throw 200 innings," he said. "I feel as a starting pitcher, it's really important to eat up innings. I think when you're a starting pitcher and you throw 200 innings, you're doing something right."

New attitude:

Last season, Tim Anderson was bogged down by a slow start and the murder of his best friend.

It was a tough year for the Sox's shortstop, but Anderson regrouped during the off-season.

"This off-season was great for me," he said. "I did did a lot of things that weren't wrapped around baseball and focused on things that were important, such as my family. I really enjoyed the off-season."

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