Well, that escalated quickly.
After only four starts, Nick Pivetta has been bumped from the Phillies starting rotation.
It’s official. Nick Pivetta optioned. INF Phil Gosselin had contracted selected. Malvern Prep grad. Jean Segura expected to miss a few days, but not land on injured list. Another 40-man roster move is coming.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 17, 2019
Jerad Eickhoff is expected to take his place.
Pivetta has been, well, terrible this season, but I thought given the considerable expectations the Phillies had for him during spring training that they would give him the month of April to get things figured out. Guess not. It’s hard to blame them for pulling the plug on a guy who has allowed an obscene 39 baserunners and 17 earned runs in only 18.1 IP.
He did not pitch into the sixth inning in any of his four starts. That just won’t get it done.
After being staked to a 10-0 first inning lead last night, Pivetta labored, needing 100 pitches to complete only five innings. He once again lacked command, and when he was in the zone, he was hit hard. He continues to be fat with his fastball and appears to have absolutely no confidence in what had previously been a formidable breaking pitch.
The Phillies have to hope Pivetta gathers himself in Lehigh Valley with the pressure and weight of those aforementioned expectations now off his shoulders. A workable changeup would help, too.
I sense that most people have checked out on him at this point, and I know that almost nobody wants to hear this, but the raw talent is still there. Maybe he gets things straightened out with the Iron Pigs and works his way back to Philadelphia later this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does.
As for Eickhoff, he was impressive in his season debut with the Phillies last night, tossing four scoreless innings while striking out six to earn the save. They don’t need Eickhoff to wow, but they do need him to provide some consistency and pitch competitive innings deeper into games. He will likely get his first shot to demonstrate he’s the man for the job on Sunday afternoon in Colorado.