Cubs add LHP Justin Wilson and C Alex Avila to 25-Man Roster, Option C/1B Victor Caratini and RHP Justin Grimm to Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs announced four roster moves Tuesday prior to the opening of the three-game series with the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. The Cubs added LHP Justin Wilson and C Alex Avila to the 25-man roster. To make room for the Cubs’ newest additions, C/1B Victor Caratini and RHP Justin Grimm were optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Wilson, who will wear uniform number 37, and Avila, who will wear uniform number 13, will be available for the Cubs on Tuesday night as they begin a three-game series against the D-Backs. Wilson and Avila were acquired from the Detroit Tigers officially on Monday for infielders Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes as well as a player to be named or cash considerations.
The Cubs’ roster stands at 13 pitchers (five starters, eight relievers) and 12 position players.
Justin Wilson, who turns 30 in a couple of weeks, is 3-4 with 13 saves, a 2.68 ERA (12 earned runs in 40 1/3 innings) and 0.94 WHIP in 42 relief appearances for the Tigers this season. Wilson has struck out 55 batters while holding teams to a .157 batting average, including a .220 mark by lefties and a .131 mark by righties. He has also limited 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 (one earned run in 4 2/3 innings) and a 2.78 WHIP in eight outings during his first Major League action, before going 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA (17 earned runs in 73 2/3 innings) and 1.05 WHIP 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, where he went 5-0 with 29 holds, a 3.10 ERA (21 earned runs in 61 innings) and 1.13 WHIP in 74 relief outings during his lone season in New York. Wilson was traded to the Tigers prior to the 2016 campaign.
Overall, Wilson is 21-14 with 92 holds, 14 saves, a 3.20 ERA (106 earned runs in 298 1/3 innings) and a 1.19 WHIP in 318 relief appearances covering six Major League seasons with Pittsburgh (2012-14), the New York Yankees (2015) and Detroit (2016-17). Wilson was selected by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2008 Draft out of California State University, Fresno.
Alex Avila, 30, is batting .274/.394/.475 (60-for-219) with 11 doubles, 11 home runs and a .869 OPS 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 Poser (.903).
Overall, the left-handed hitting Avila is a career .243/.350/.402 hitter (600-for-2,472) with 128 doubles, 84 homers, 325 RBI and a .752 OPS 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.
Justin Grimm, 28, is 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA (23 earned runs in 40 innings) and a 1.27 WHIP in 36 relief appearances for the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA (four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings) and a 1.50 WHIP in six relief outings.
Victor Caratini, 23, is batting .192/.250/.385 (5-for-26) with two doubles, one home runs and a .635 OPS in 11 games with the Cubs this season. With Iowa, Caratini is hitting .341/.382/.537 (84-for-246) with 20 doubles, two triples, eight homers and a .919 OPS in 69 games.