PHILADELPHIA -- Luis Avilan had to take a second to figure where he was when he awoke in his Philadelphia hotel room on Friday morning. On Wednesday, the left-handed pitcher was preparing to make the jump from Double-A Mississippi to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Avilan's unexpected leap to the Majors was created when the Braves had to make a decision about Jonny Venters after he struggled during Wednesday's game against the Cubs. By the time the decision was made to place Venters on the disabled list on Thursday, Avilan was already on his way to Atlanta with the knowledge that he was about to spend his first day as a Major Leaguer.
"This is unreal," said Avilan, who started dreaming of reaching the Majors more than a decade ago when he was watching his favorite player Andres Galarraga play for the Braves. "It's a dream come true. When you sign your first [professional] contract, you wait your whole career to be here. When you finally make it, you don't want to wake up from your dream."
Avilan remembers getting a chance to see the Braves play the Rays in the first of two exhibition games played near his hometown in Venezuela before the start of the 2000 season.