The Chicago Cubs today added left-handed pitcher Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the 25-man roster. In corresponding roster moves, right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm and catcher Victor Caratini have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Both Wilson, who will wear uniform number 37, and Avila, who will wear uniform number 13, will be available for the Cubs tonight as they begin a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. They were acquired from the Detroit Tigers yesterday for infielders Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes as well as a player to be named or cash considerations.
Wilson, who turns 30 this month, is 3-4 with 13 saves and a 2.68 ERA (12 ER/40.1 IP) in 42 relief appearances for the Tigers this season. He has struck out 55 batters in 40.1 innings and held opponents to a 0.94 WHIP while limiting foes to a .157 batting average, including a .220 mark by lefties and a .131 mark by righties. He has also held opponents to just a .242 on-base percentage and a .321 slugging percentage, good for a .563 opponents OPS. Wilson is under club control through the 2018 campaign.
The southpaw made his major league debut with Pittsburgh in 2012, posting a 1.93 ERA (1 ER/4.1 IP) in eight outings during his first major league foray, before going 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA (17 ER/73.2 IP) in 58 relief appearances with the Pirates during his first full big league campaign in 2013. He pitched for the Pirates for another season before joining the New York Yankees in 2015, when he went 5-0 with 29 holds and a 3.10 ERA (21 ER/61.0 IP) in 74 relief outings during his lone season in New York. He was traded to the Tigers prior to the 2016 campaign.
Overall, Wilson is 21-14 with 92 holds, 14 saves and a 3.20 ERA (106 ER/298.1 IP) in 318 relief appearances covering six major league seasons with Pittsburgh (2012-14), the New York Yankees (2015) and Detroit (2016-17). He was selected by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2008 Draft out of California State University, Fresno.
Welcome to the party, Justin Wilson!
You're going to fit in just fine. #ThatsCub pic.twitter.com/hhjBd70LT9
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 2, 2017
Avila, 30, is batting .274 (60-for-219) with 11 doubles, 11 homers and 32 RBI in 77 games with the Tigers this season. He has posted a .394 on-base percentage and a .475 slugging percentage, good for a .869 OPS. His .869 OPS is the second highest mark among all major league catchers with at least 70 games played this season, trailing only San Francisco’s Buster Posey (.903).
Overall, the left-handed hitting Avila is a career .243 hitter (600-for-2,472) with 128 doubles, 84 homers and 325 RBI in 817 games covering nine big league seasons with Detroit (2009-15, 2017) and the Chicago White Sox (2016). He was originally selected by the Tigers in the fifth round of the 2008 Draft out of the University of Alabama.
Grimm, 28, is 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA (23 ER/40.0 IP) in 36 relief appearances for the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA (4 ER/6.2 IP) in six relief outings.
Caratini, 23, is batting .192 (5-for-26) with two doubles, one homer and two RBI in 11 games with the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he is hitting .341 (84-for-246) with 20 doubles, eight homers and 54 RBI in 69 games.
Video: Alex Avila on being traded by his father to the Cubs https://t.co/d8slnhjOHH via @MDGonzales pic.twitter.com/RlcDjchlEN
— ChicagoSports (@ChicagoSports) August 1, 2017