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Phillies: Do Pivetta or Velasquez benefit from a shorter season

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 16: Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with pitching coach Chris Young #45 in the dugout during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on April 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Mets 14-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 16: Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with pitching coach Chris Young #45 in the dugout during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on April 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Mets 14-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It’s now or never for Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta

Nick Pivetta has long been praised for his high ceiling, yet has never even come close to capitalizing on it. Possessing a 5.34 ERA and a 1.426 WHIP across three seasons, it’s really challenging to see any sort of lasting potential left in him. Pivetta was even named as a sleeper Cy Young candidate heading into 2019, and then proceeded to post a 5.38 ERA, ending the season with stints in the bullpen and even the minor leagues.

A general consensus amongst the baseball community is that managers might get a little more creative when it comes to utilizing their pitching staff. On one side of the spectrum, guys like Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler might be asked to stretch out their starts on the regular, seeing as they have considerably less total innings they have to pitch this year.

On the other hand, someone like Pivetta might be asked to only pitch three to four innings on any given day, as Joe Girardi looks to utilize more of the bullpen to combat certain matchups.

Unfortunately, there’s really no evidence that Pivetta would excel in this type of role.

When looking at his splits by inning, Pivetta is actually pretty consistent regardless of where in the game he is pitching. The problem of course is that he is consistently below average.

MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 23: Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch during the game against Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 23: Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch during the game against Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Pivetta’s ERA by Inning:

First: 5.83

Second: 5.61

Third: 3.49

Fourth: 5.71

Fifth: 6.07

Sixth: 6.75

However, one slight positive you could take away is that Pivetta tends to do better earlier in the season. His career ERA in the months of April, March, and May sits in the mid/high 4.00s, while every other month is in the 5.00s and 6.00s.

There’s a small possibility that Pivetta could give the Phillies a little more juice through limited starts in a shortened season.