Phillies: Jonathan Arauz, Nick Pivetta excel with Red Sox
By Matt Rappa
Jonathan Arauz and Nick Pivetta, former members of the Phillies organization, shined for the Red Sox in their season finale win against the Braves.
Two former members of the Philadelphia Phillies organization had a strong showing with the Boston Red Sox in their 9-1 season finale victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday — infielder Jonathan Arauz and right-handed starting pitcher Nick Pivetta.
Arauz, 22, batted ninth and played second base and shortstop, going 3-for-4 with his first MLB home run and three RBI. Pivetta, meanwhile, yielded just one run, four hits, and two walks through five innings, en route to earning a winning decision.
The Phillies signed the Panama native Arauz as a teenager in August 2014, and dealt him in December 2015 — along with right-handed closer Ken Giles — to the Houston Astros in exchange for minor leaguers Mark Appel and Harold Arauz, as well as Thomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer, and, of course, Vince Velasquez.
Arauz would go on to play four years in the Astros minor-league system, before he was drafted by the Red Sox this past December in the Rule 5 Draft. Arauz needed to stay on the Red Sox big-league roster this season, or risk being lost back to the Astros; he did just that.
While his .221/.293/.250 slash line across 75 plate appearances entering Sunday was not necessarily impressive, he did prove to be valuable for the Red Sox in the field. Also entering Sunday, Arauz logged 114 1/3 innings at second base, 26 innings at third base, and 16 2/3 innings at shortstop for the Red Sox this season; he committed just two combined errors across 72 chances.
Following his season-finale performance, Arauz finished his rookie campaign slashing .250/.325/.319 with nine RBI.
Meanwhile for Pivetta, the change of scenery appears to be paying off. Through two starts in a Red Sox uniform, the right-hander went 2-0 — allowing only two earned runs, eight hits, and five walks through nine innings, while striking out 13 batters.
On Sunday against the Braves, Pivetta struck out five batters; he finished the season with an overall 6.89 ERA, 1.53 WHIP ratio, and 17-6 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 15 2/3 innings.
The Phillies acquired Pivetta from the Washington Nationals for franchise saves leader Jonathan Papelbon in July 2015; nearly five years later, they dealt him to the Red Sox, along with minor-leaguer Connor Seabold for relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman.
Both Hembree and Workman struggled for the Phillies out of the bullpen, and there is no guarantee either will return in 2021. Pivetta, Seabold, and even Arauz, on the other hand, could make a tremendous impact on the Red Sox for years to come.