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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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 26: Pitcher Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the third inning of a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on June 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Nick Pivetta

Entering the 2019 season, many baseball analysts actually had Pivetta pinned as a potential sleeper Cy Young candidate. Pivetta had excellent “stuff” in 2018 (mainly talking about his spin rate) but received some woeful defense behind him. With a FIP that ranked in the top 30 in all of baseball (3.79) and a strikeout rate which ranked top seven amongst qualified starters, the possibility for a breakout season was right there for the taking.

Alas, that breakout from the 26 year old never happened. In 2019 Pivetta recorded a 5.38 ERA and a WHIP over 1.5. He made just 13 ugly starts as a Phillie before the coaching staff seemingly gave up on him. He was shuffled around between the bullpen and the minor leagues for the remainder of the season as the Phillies turned instead to veterans Drew Smyly and Jason Vargas.

Pivetta is one of the more infuriating stories for Phillies fans. The analytics scream that he has the potential to be a solid pitcher in the MLB, but Pivetta has never displayed that for more than a game at a time.

On top of that, he appears to be a little on the “emotional” side when it comes to pitching. He frequently displayed instances of intense frustration on the mound in 2019 when things weren’t going his way.