CHICAGO -- The White Sox traded veteran left-handed reliever Luis Avilan to the Phillies on Wednesday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Felix Paulino.
Avilán, 29, followed Michael Kopech to the mound in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Twins after a 52-minute rain delay. He is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA, along with 46 strikeouts over 39 2/3 innings, including nine holds and two saves in a team-leading 58 appearances this season, his first with the White Sox. He was acquired from the Dodgers on Jan. 4, as part of a three-team, five-player trade that included Kansas City.
Playing for the White Sox was an enjoyable experience for Avilan. But he's glad to be going to a contender.
"An experience to get an opportunity to go to the playoffs is always an exciting moment," Avilan said. "I just finished talking to [White Sox bench coach] Joe [McEwing] about how great they are, the coaching staff, my teammates that we have here. The chemistry is really fun here. I loved playing here."
"We leaned on him quite a bit and he did an amazing job for us," McEwing said. "We're thankful that he was able to bridge a lot of gaps to get to other individuals. We wish him nothing but much success."
Paulino, 23, is 4-4 with a 3.91 ERA, one save and 74 strikeouts in 31 combined appearances (nine starts) this season between Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Paulino will be assigned to Double-A Birmingham.
Burr makes tired but excited arrival
Ryan Burr, the right-handed pitcher whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte to take the place of Avilan, received the news at 2:30 on Wednesday morning. He packed his bags and took a flight to Chicago at 7 a.m.
"Lots of sleep, yeah. There will be some time for that later," said the 24-year-old with a broad smile. "I can't put it into words. I've tried to tell my friends and my family what it feels like but I'm still trying to figure out what it feels like to be honest. It's a great feeling. It's a really good feeling."
Burr has a 4-3 record with a 2.45 ERA, two saves, a .190 opponent batting average and 51 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings over 37 combined appearances this season between Birmingham and Charlotte. He did not allow an earned run over his final 14 appearances for the Barons, covering 20 1/3 innings, and has given up one earned run in 8 1/3 innings over seven games with the Knights.
Wearing No. 61, Burr is excited to be the latest prospect to get a big league chance with the rebuilding White Sox.
"Guys know the direction that this thing is headed, and everybody is fighting to be a part of it," Burr said. "It's breeding some competition down there, which overall is a great thing for everybody involved.
"It's tough for some guys. There are buddies of mine down there I thought would get the call before me. That's the way it is. Not going to turn down a call to the big leagues. Just take this opportunity and try to run with it."
Rondon replaces Abreu
Infielder Jose Rondon was recalled from Charlotte on Wednesday after Jose Abreu was put on the disabled list following surgery on his lower abdomen/groin area. Rondon has hit .245 with three doubles, three homers, six RBIs and eight runs scored in 22 games over two stints with the White Sox this season.
Abreu, who is hitting .272 with 22 home runs and 78 RBIs, will be missed for more than his vast on-field contributions.
"Jose means so much to us as an organization and our ball club," McEwing said. "His presence alone out there and in our clubhouse, in the lineup, standing in the batter's box, standing out at first base. He's going to be truly missed."
What about Eloy?
If a player comes to the White Sox from Charlotte, there's a good chance he will be asked about outfielder Eloy Jimenez. It was Burr's turn Wednesday to discuss the team's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and the No. 3 overall prospect in the game.
"Eloy is amazing," Burr said. "He's staying positive. It's hard to not talk about the elephant in the room. But Eloy handles it absolutely like a professional. He's just waiting for his turn.
"We call him Baby Ruth for a reason. He's the next coming of Babe Ruth from what we see every day. When his time comes, I know he's going to come up here and produce and be what everybody thinks he can be and more."
Burr also talked about Jimenez, the person.
"He's an incredible teammate," Burr said. "He's humble. He's a jokester. He likes to have fun. Just a really easy going guy. He has a big personality on the field as well. He keeps it loose, but the kid can play baseball."