Phillies: Red Sox manipulating Nick Pivetta’s service time?

Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta is rumored to make his Red Sox debut on Tuesday

Since being traded to the Boston Red Sox last month, former Philadelphia Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta has yet to debut with his new team; instead, he has reported to his new team’s alternate training site in Pawtucket.

NESN speculates that this delay could very well be by design. By keep Pivetta away from the majors, the Red Sox are gaining another year of control on his contract — in other words, delaying his free agency until after the 2024 season rather than following the 2023 campaign.

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Rumors are swirling that once the Red Sox are guaranteed to get this extra year of control (i.e., Tuesday), they will promote the former Phillies pitcher and possibly start him in as many as two of their remaining games this season.

When recently asked by reporters as to if Pivetta’s Red Sox debut has a “strong possibility” to occur on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, manager Ron Roenicke did not confirm nor deny and replied, “You guys have it figured out pretty good.”

If the 27-year-old indeed starts Tuesday, he would also be in line to pitch in the team’s season finale next Sunday, September 27, opposite the Phillies’ division rival Atlanta Braves, notes the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. That game could have postseason seeding implications for the Phillies as to who they possibly would play in the three-game Wild Card Series.

The Washington Nationals drafted the Victoria, Canada, native in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of New Mexico Junior College. The right-hander pitched in two-plus seasons in the Nationals’ minor-league system, before he was dealt to the Phillies in July 2015 in exchange for franchise saves leader Jonathan Papelbon.

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Pivetta would go on to make his big-league debut in 2017. Spanning 92 overall appearances and 71 starts through last August,  he posted a 5.50 ERA and 1.433 WHIP while striking out 421 batters spanning 396 1/3 frames.

The four-year veteran’s 15.88 ERA in the Phillies’ first year under manager Joe Girardi culminated to him being dealt for the second time in his career, as on August 21, 2020, he was sent to the Red Sox — along with minor-leaguer Connor Seabold — in exchange for relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman.

It will be interested to see if Pivetta can turn his career around as a Red Sox.

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