The good, the bad & the ugly: Patrolling the Phillies starting rotation

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Nick Pivetta

Nick Pivetta does have a 2-1 record for the Philadelphia Phillies this season, but that is largely due to the offensive production. He has capped at five innings this season and had an awful showing against the Washington Nationals on April 10th, 2019 when he almost pitched four innings, allowed seven runs, and struck out six. In that game, while he did produce his highest amount of strikeouts in a decision so far in 2019, he also allowed the most runs. Pivetta did get the start against the New York Mets on April 16th, 2019, but had a ten run cushion at the bottom of the first inning as the game fell apart around the pitching of Steven Matz and the Mets. Also, Pivetta has been easy to hit off of, allowing at least seven in each of his decisions. In his most recent game against the Mets, his showing wasn’t good enough to keep his place in the rotation as the home crowd saw the return of Jerad Eickhoff.

Jerad Eickhoff

He absolutely passed the eye test in his 2019 Philadelphia Phillies season debut against the New York Mets on April 16th, 2019. Jerad Eickhoff got the save and secured the win for Nick Pivetta, but his showing was strong enough to relocate his position in the Phillies starting rotation. Eickhoff is a guy that I’ve been rooting for because he has potential but just has been bitten by the injury bug a few times in his Phillies career. In the four innings he pitched, Eickhoff only allowed three hits, no runs, and struck out six.

That four-inning sample size has been better than any four innings Pivetta has pitched this season, but I do worry that putting him right back into the lineup so quickly is dangerous. I think Eickhoff should come in relief for another game, mostly because we all know that Vince Velasquez doesn’t necessarily pitch deeply into ball games. If Eickhoff were to impress again as he did against the Mets on Tuesday, then I would have pulled the trigger to put him back in the rotation. Either way, I do believe that Pivetta is the odd man out right now. If he could have kept his ERA down this season, then we could easily be talking about putting Velasquez in the bullpen, becoming the dominant reliever or closer that he can be.

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