Phillies Nick Pivetta succeeding as an IronPigs reliever
Things haven’t gone Nick Pivetta’s way this year, but he’s finding success in the minors.
Going into the 2019 season many analysts across baseball pinned Phillies starter Nick Pivetta as a darkhorse Cy Young candidate. Pivetta has been anything but Cy Young quality, making multiple trips back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after posting a 5.38 ERA for Philadelphia this year.
Pivetta is among several young Phillies players who underperformed this year after the front office appeared to give him and others one last opportunity to prove they belong on a winning team.
Through his first 18.1 innings, Pivetta allowed 18 earned runs off 31 hits, five of which were home runs. Philadelphia sent him to Lehigh Valley in for the later part of April and May to refine his craft, and he did show signs of life after coming back, posting a 1.80 ERA in his first three games back.
After those three starts, Pivetta had a 6.75 ERA in his next 30.2 innings, which would ultimately lead him to the big league bullpen. Like his time as a starter in the big leagues, Pivetta had extreme highs and lows, allowing no runs in 5 of his 11 relief outings, but allowing multiple runs in five other games.
Now back with the IronPigs, at least until September call-ups, Pivetta has allowed no runs off one hit in four innings. The 26-year-old British Columbia native has at least shown signs of success out of the bullpen, which is where the Phillies desperately need to find relief for the later innings.
If Pivetta can find some success in Lehigh Valley as a reliever, hopefully he can make that correlate to success in Philadelphia. His stuff can play well against major league hitters, evident by his lofty projections, but the mentality has to be there all the time. If Pivetta can pull that out, the Phillies might have a very strong back of the ‘pen arm.