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Holds Leagues Sleepers: Luis Avilan & David Carpenter

By Atlswag69 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Luis Avilan & David Carpenter

With the best current closer in the game, Craig Kimbrel, manning the back of the Atlanta Braves bullpen, the complementary pieces that bridge the starting pitcher’s win to Kimbrel’s seemingly inevitable save are worth a look. Jonny Venters is returning from injury and he will join a pair of relievers that held the fort down, righty David Carpenter and lefty Luis Avilan.

David Carpenter, 28, has been on four teams before finding himself on the Atlanta Braves. Luis Avilan, 24, is from Venezuela and got his first taste of the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 2012. Despite being a righty and a lefty, Carpenter and Avilan put up some equally impressive numbers in the 2013 campaign.

David Carpenter Luis Avilan
IP 65.2 65.0
ERA 1.78 1.52
WHIP 0.99 0.95
BAA .198 .175


These two pitchers do have some differences though. They do well in the ideal matchups (Lefty vs. Lefty, Righty vs. Righty) but they differ in success when playing the fire man, bailing out their fellow teammates when inheriting their runners.

2013 Splits David Carpenter Luis Avilan
vs. RHB (PA) .183 (157) .202 (142)
vs. LHB (PA) .224 (99) .144 (114)
Inherited runners 34 32
Inherited runners scored 11 7
Inherited runners scored 32% 22%

National League average for inherited runners scoring is 27%


Luis Avilan is a two-pitch pitcher. He features a low 90s fastball with a curveball too. His fastball is generally the two-seam variety so he was able to induce 109 groundouts; over half of his outs were on the ground (57.7%). Keeping his two-seam fastball and curveball low in the zone has also helped Avilan keep the ball in the ballpark, allowing just two home runs in his two years in the majors. Groundball dominance. In recent years, left-handed relievers have generally been seen as the LOOGY or “Left-Handed Only One Out Guy” but Avilan’s effectiveness can make him a prominent role in the Braves bullpen.

David Carpenter is a two-pitch pitcher. He primarily turns to a mid 90s fastball with a mid 80s slider. Unlike his lefty counterpart, Carpenter is not a contact-type pitcher; he seeks strikeouts and he finished the 2013 season with a 10.3 K/9 compared to Avilan’s 5.3 K/9. Both Carpenter and Avilan would often come into the game for the seventh or eighth innings.

The effectiveness of Luis Avilan and David Carpenter will ease the return of Jonny Venters and give him time to make sure he is healthy and ready to be the dominant relief pitcher he once was. This righty-lefty duo will be a sturdy and reliable bridge between the young rotation and the powerfully dominant Craig Kimbrel and will make solid choices for Holds in your fantasy league.