Phillies: Debating Nick Pivetta vs Vince Velasquez

Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 25: Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Should the Phillies tun to Nick Pivetta or Vince Velasquez as their fifth starter?

Before even delving into the Phillies Nick Pivetta versus Vince Velasquez discussion, it’s important to establish that this article makes a few key assumptions.

First, is that the Phillies are done adding to their rotation this offseason because of the luxury tax. No more free agent signings and no more trades.

This would mean that the group of Nola, Wheeler, Arrieta, and Eflin are all locked in as the team’s first four starters.

Second, is that the Phillies don’t plan to call up minor-league standout *Spencer Howard* for the start of the season. While he obviously will be in the rotation at some point this year, he probably won’t make it there for opening day.

By taking these quite probable scenarios as factual, that leaves Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta to battle it out for the team’s #5 spot in the starting rotation.

As of right now, it appears “Vinny Velo” is lined up to once again be a starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. This has caused quite a bit of concern amongst fans (myself included) and reporters alike.

For pretty much his entire tenure as a major leaguer, Vince has been an extremely below average pitcher. His career ERA is a 4.67 and the most games he’s ever won in a season is nine.

Last year was a particularly bad season for Velasquez, who started 23 games while also making 10 appearances as a reliever. He recorded an ERA of 4.91, a WHIP of 1.389, and allowed a career worst 26 home runs.

One of the biggest complaints surrounding Velasquez is his inability to go deep into games as a starting pitcher. In his 23 starts last season he averaged 4.59 innings pitched. In case you couldn’t tell that’s really, really bad.

The Velasquez experiment has lasted four long seasons in Philly, and with a career 5.5 WAR in 99 starts, he’s barely made an impact on the franchise.