Nick Pivetta got off to a strong start to the 2017 season in Triple-A, posting a 0.95 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As injuries started to pile up, Pivetta was called up to the majors to plug the hole. His rookie season was rocky, to say the least.
In 26 starts for the Phillies last year, Pivetta had a 6.02 ERA, 9.8% walk rate, 1.51 WHIP, and allowed 25 home runs. Pivetta had a couple nice starts, but they were outweighed by some duds. At times, he showed strong potential with dominant stretches before getting lit up on the mound later on.
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Pivetta quickly emerged as the favorite for the fourth rotation spot in spring training and has held onto it all year. He had a tremendous start to the year with a 3.26 ERA, 2.79 fielding-independent pitching, and 4.79 strikeout-to-walk ratio through May.
While Pivetta has not been as successful in recent weeks, his season-long numbers are still significant steps forward compared to last year.
In 31 appearances, he has a 4.67 ERA, 3.75 fielding-independent pitching, and 1.30 WHIP. He is walking 1.12 fewer batters per nine innings while striking out 1.09 more batters per nine. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has improved to 3.85.
Pivetta’s bane remains home runs. He has allowed 23 this year, tied for 10th-most in the NL. His 16.1% home run to fly ball ratio is fourth-highest in the NL. This issue will keep him from rising to the next echelon of pitchers.
Despite this issue, Pivetta has vastly improved on what was a promising but overall poor rookie year. If he can remedy this, he can be a tremendous starter.