Phillies: Do Pivetta or Velasquez benefit from a shorter season
By David Esser
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.
Pivetta’s ERA by Inning:
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.