Nick Pivetta

Feb 6, 2018
1,641
Florida
Nick Pivetta deserves his own thread and has to be the surprise of the year so far (along with Whitlock) being 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA. Most impressively, he’s been able to throw strikes with good command. Control issues have plagued him in the past but he’s seemed to harness it with Boston. The million dollar question is can this be sustainable?
 
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cornwalls@6

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His walk rate is definitely a red flag, and needs to be cleaned up before it eventually starts to bite him badly. But I love the stuff, and the competitiveness. That he was able to go 6 complete today on 100 or so pitches, after that fist inning slog was pretty impressive. On balance, and outstanding acquisition to date. Edited for spelling butchery.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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22 walks in 36.2 ip. Struggling with the walks. Otherwise really good.
His walk rate per 9 this year has been significantly higher than his pre-Sox career number (5.4 vs 3.4), so there's cause to expect he'll bring it back under control.

He's 7-0 with a 2.89 ERA in the nine starts he's made for the Sox. So far, a steal of a deal and he's only half of the return they got for the rotting carcasses of Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. And now they've got Workman back in case he has anything left to give. Safe to call that a great deal by Bloom already.
 

curly2

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No matter what Pivetta does going forward -- or whether Connor Seabold ever becomes an effective MLB pitcher --- this was an amazing trade by Bloom. I don't know if Pivetta will ever go deep in games consistently with the way his pitch count gets up there, but he always keeps them in it, and you can win a lot with a starter like that. He's like 2017 Drew Pomeranz.
 

bsj

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Anyone see his post game interview? He said that the coaches saw he was "tipping his pitches" early today and it somehow involved a sleeve which he removed. Anyone get anything further on that?
 

BaseballJones

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No matter what Pivetta does going forward -- or whether Connor Seabold ever becomes an effective MLB pitcher --- this was an amazing trade by Bloom. I don't know if Pivetta will ever go deep in games consistently with the way his pitch count gets up there, but he always keeps them in it, and you can win a lot with a starter like that. He's like 2017 Drew Pomeranz.
Yeah for sure. The trade was Workman and Hembree for Pivetta and Seabold. Neither pitcher did well for Philly, and Workman is now back with the Sox on a minor league deal. Pivetta has been tremendous. And Seabold is supposedly the better of the two.
 

YTF

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Yeah for sure. The trade was Workman and Hembree for Pivetta and Seabold. Neither pitcher did well for Philly, and Workman is now back with the Sox on a minor league deal. Pivetta has been tremendous. And Seabold is supposedly the better of the two.
Yes, IIRC the feeling when the trade was made was that Seabold was the player the Sox were after. I wasn't familiar with Seabold, but was thrilled that Pivetta included. When you look at what the starting rotation was like for Boston last season Pivetta seemed like a perfect guy to get included in that trade. Philly gave up on him and we needed arms in bulk in an effort to right the ship. At 27 the potential label might have worn off, but he was still young enough to take a flyer on in hopes that there was still something that could be tapped into. Perhaps find something fixable in struggles and hopefully fill a bottom of the rotation slot. In that respect, to date the Sox have been able to put a big check mark in that box.
 

jose melendez

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Any sense on why Pivetta is good this year?


I'd never seen him before he came to the Sox and his peripherals aren't really better except for getting his HR/9 is better.
 

pokey_reese

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He is definitely getting lucky on balls in play, virtually every metric that tries to account for the quality of contact given up or context/sequence neutrality thinks that his ERA should be a run or two higher than it is. He has given up a very small number of HRs relative to how many fly balls and hard hits he has allowed, and nothing in his career numbers suggests that his HR/FB rate shouldn't rise substantially moving forward. If he keeps walking people at this rate, the runs will pile up quickly once balls start leaving the yard on him again.

Still been a good return, and nothing can take back the wins that he has already gotten, even if they are heavily luck-influenced, but it doesn't seem like much has changed for him this year, other than throwing his slider a lot more, so it's probably safe to assume that his numbers will suffer a bit as his luck evens out. He didn't add velocity to his FB, he isn't getting more swinging strikes, he isn't throwing the ball in the zone more, or inducing significantly worse contact, etc..
 

Bergs

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He is definitely getting lucky on balls in play, virtually every metric that tries to account for the quality of contact given up or context/sequence neutrality thinks that his ERA should be a run or two higher than it is. He has given up a very small number of HRs relative to how many fly balls and hard hits he has allowed, and nothing in his career numbers suggests that his HR/FB rate shouldn't rise substantially moving forward. If he keeps walking people at this rate, the runs will pile up quickly once balls start leaving the yard on him again.

Still been a good return, and nothing can take back the wins that he has already gotten, even if they are heavily luck-influenced, but it doesn't seem like much has changed for him this year, other than throwing his slider a lot more, so it's probably safe to assume that his numbers will suffer a bit as his luck evens out. He didn't add velocity to his FB, he isn't getting more swinging strikes, he isn't throwing the ball in the zone more, or inducing significantly worse contact, etc..
So you're saying it's because "the Baltimore Orioles"...I can buy that.
 

soxhop411

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Any sense on why Pivetta is good this year?


I'd never seen him before he came to the Sox and his peripherals aren't really better except for getting his HR/9 is better.
Looks like Tek is helping him.
I've heard Varitek's name mentioned by multiple players recently, Franchy and Plawecki included. So he's making an impact.
Jason Varitek has helped Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta with his offspeed pitches.

“He’s been a huge help to me with my curveball, with a lot of other things; my changeup today,” Pivetta said.
View: https://twitter.com/SmittyOnMLB/status/1391567781506727942
 

koufax32

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I know this may sounds nuts considering years of control, cost, role he could play for the next great Sox team, etc...
Man, if he keeps this up, I’d be tempted to sell him off in July.
 
Feb 6, 2018
1,641
Florida
I know this may sounds nuts considering years of control, cost, role he could play for the next great Sox team, etc...
Man, if he keeps this up, I’d be tempted to sell him off in July.
Is this assuming Sale comes back for a rotation spot? Pivetta seems like a solid starter for a team that should be in contention all season.
 

chawson

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I know this may sounds nuts considering years of control, cost, role he could play for the next great Sox team, etc...
Man, if he keeps this up, I’d be tempted to sell him off in July.
I had this thought too. If we make a big splash this summer, he’d make the most sense to go the other way, and could be a really useful rotation piece for a cost-conscious team to get in return.

Exercise a couple easy options and the 2022 rotation could still be Sale, Eovaldi, Richards, Houck, Peréz, Whitlock, and Seabold, and Rodriguez if we can extend him.
 

Sprowl

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Pivetta seems to get a lot of whiffs on sliders up in the strike zone and over the middle of the plate. I don't think those swings will miss so often going forward.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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He is definitely getting lucky on balls in play, virtually every metric that tries to account for the quality of contact given up or context/sequence neutrality thinks that his ERA should be a run or two higher than it is. He has given up a very small number of HRs relative to how many fly balls and hard hits he has allowed, and nothing in his career numbers suggests that his HR/FB rate shouldn't rise substantially moving forward. If he keeps walking people at this rate, the runs will pile up quickly once balls start leaving the yard on him again.

Still been a good return, and nothing can take back the wins that he has already gotten, even if they are heavily luck-influenced, but it doesn't seem like much has changed for him this year, other than throwing his slider a lot more, so it's probably safe to assume that his numbers will suffer a bit as his luck evens out. He didn't add velocity to his FB, he isn't getting more swinging strikes, he isn't throwing the ball in the zone more, or inducing significantly worse contact, etc..
It’s interesting because most of his batted ball stats are similar to his career, but his FIP, xFIP, and xERA are all career lows or close to it. The only major differences I can find is that he’s giving up less hard contact and way more contact characterized as medium, and hitters are pulling the ball way more frequently. I’m not sure how to figure this out, but maybe the increased slider usage is leading to more pulled balls that aren’t hit especially hard?
 

Manramsclan

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I know this may sounds nuts considering years of control, cost, role he could play for the next great Sox team, etc...
Man, if he keeps this up, I’d be tempted to sell him off in July.
I had this thought too. If we make a big splash this summer, he’d make the most sense to go the other way, and could be a really useful rotation piece for a cost-conscious team to get in return.

Exercise a couple easy options and the 2022 rotation could still be Sale, Eovaldi, Richards, Houck, Peréz, Whitlock, and Seabold, and Rodriguez if we can extend him.
Why would the Red Sox want to trade a low cost asset under team control who fills a valuable role at the Major League level?

What kind of "big splash" would the Red Sox be capable of making by trading the one thing they need the most? (Quality starting pitching that allows them to stay under the tax/keeps the powder dry for ERod/Devers extension)
 

jmcc5400

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It’s interesting because most of his batted ball stats are similar to his career, but his FIP, xFIP, and xERA are all career lows or close to it. The only major differences I can find is that he’s giving up less hard contact and way more contact characterized as medium, and hitters are pulling the ball way more frequently. I’m not sure how to figure this out, but maybe the increased slider usage is leading to more pulled balls that aren’t hit especially hard?
Could it be partially explained by more shifts by the 2021 Sox than the ‘17-18 Phil’s?
 

oumbi

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In an article from August, 2020 Philly writers believed He needed to throw fewer fastballs and more curves and sliders. I do not not know whether this Is a reason for the improvement or not.

”Pivetta has consistently thrown about half fastballs during his career, but he would be wise to reduce that number in favor of a heavier dosage of breaking balls. His heater has been the pitch that he's gotten burned on most consistently throughout his career, with opponents hitting .309 versus the fastball, as opposed to .231 and .217 against his curveball and slider, according to Brooks Baseball. Pitching backward could enable him to steal strikes and avoid damage.”

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiV1aSNo77wAhVFcq0KHaMxDKUQFjAGegQICBAD&url=https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-trade-deadline-analyzing-what-the-red-sox-received-in-nick-pivetta-connor-seabold-deal/&usg=AOvVaw2SDrd6e6h53p6XnordJw-o
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Could it be partially explained by more shifts by the 2021 Sox than the ‘17-18 Phil’s?
The Sox in 2021 shift about 36% of the time, compared to about 22% for the Phillies in 2018 and 12% for the Phillies in 2017. Pivetta has allowed a .192 wOBA with the shift on this year, vs .228 in 2017 and .324 in 2018. Batters are pulling the ball slightly over 46% of the time against Pivetta, but are doing so ~51% of the time when the Sox have the shift on. So it definitely could be part of the reason
 

koufax32

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Why would the Red Sox want to trade a low cost asset under team control who fills a valuable role at the Major League level?

What kind of "big splash" would the Red Sox be capable of making by trading the one thing they need the most? (Quality starting pitching that allows them to stay under the tax/keeps the powder dry for ERod/Devers extension)
Because I’m skeptical that his improvement is sustainable over the long run

I’m actually not advocating a big splash type trade. If he were to net us a CJ Cron type or one or two decent prospects, I’d be very happy with that.
My motivation is more from the perspective of selling at the peak of his value than it is a matter of getting rid of him, if that makes sense.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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In an article from August, 2020 Philly writers believed He needed to throw fewer fastballs and more curves and sliders. I do not not know whether this Is a reason for the improvement or not.

”Pivetta has consistently thrown about half fastballs during his career, but he would be wise to reduce that number in favor of a heavier dosage of breaking balls. His heater has been the pitch that he's gotten burned on most consistently throughout his career, with opponents hitting .309 versus the fastball, as opposed to .231 and .217 against his curveball and slider, according to Brooks Baseball. Pitching backward could enable him to steal strikes and avoid damage.”

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiV1aSNo77wAhVFcq0KHaMxDKUQFjAGegQICBAD&url=https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-trade-deadline-analyzing-what-the-red-sox-received-in-nick-pivetta-connor-seabold-deal/&usg=AOvVaw2SDrd6e6h53p6XnordJw-o
On the radio broadcast yesterday, when Pivetta walked those couple guys in the first inning, Rob Bradford was begging Pivetta to just throw the fastball down the middle. Take from that what you will.
 

moondog80

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Also worth noting:

-Connor Seabold is the 7th ranked prospect on soxprospects.com.
-Brandon Workman signed with the Phillies in the offseason, was DFA'd after 9 innings, was signed by Boston and is in Worcsester.

A poor man's version of Lowe/Varitek for Heathcliff Slcoumb would still be one hell of a deal.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Because I’m skeptical that his improvement is sustainable over the long run

I’m actually not advocating a big splash type trade. If he were to net us a CJ Cron type or one or two decent prospects, I’d be very happy with that.
My motivation is more from the perspective of selling at the peak of his value than it is a matter of getting rid of him, if that makes sense.
If the Sox are five games under .500 and 4-5 games out of a wildcard spot at the end of July, but Pivetta was still performing well, then yeah, selling him for some good prospects might be a good idea. Particularly if you think his success is an aberration.

But given that currently the team is sporting the best record and biggest divisional lead in MLB, the idea of trading away a player doing well and contributing to the team's success is not going to be well received. A lot can happen in the next 2+ months, but the timing of the question is why you're getting some push back here rather than the merits of it in a vacuum.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If the Sox are five games under .500 and 4-5 games out of a wildcard spot at the end of July, but Pivetta was still performing well, then yeah, selling him for some good prospects might be a good idea. Particularly if you think his success is an aberration.

But given that currently the team is sporting the best record and biggest divisional lead in MLB, the idea of trading away a player doing well and contributing to the team's success is not going to be well received. A lot can happen in the next 2+ months, but the timing of the question is why you're getting some push back here rather than the merits of it in a vacuum.
This is 100% on the money. Bloom put together a truly interesting team that could either be used as a major rebuilding machine- dealing everyone from Barnes to Pivetta to Vazquez in exchange for reconfiguring the Sox for the next 5-7 years.... or, if they (maybe not) surprisingly performed well, would be in a good position to go deep in the playoffs. I don't see one team that is truly overwhelmingly powerful... One paper, the Dodgers, Yankees and Padres should be running away from the pack but for a variety of reasons just aren't. The Yankees still frighten me, and the Dodgers are still likely WS repeat favorites, but if the Sox bring Sale back and he's useful, along with adding a dominant reliever at the deadline (goodbye Duran). The team should be immediately considered AL top dogs.
Getting rid of their top performing starter (regardless of expected true outcome) seems like pointing a Russian Roulette revolver back at themselves.
I don't like the classifications of "ace", "no.3" etc... but those categories are often helpful for context. I don't know if Edro is a true ace, nor if Eovaldi is a complimentary "no. 2" but they rotation top to bottom has a better chance of winning 3 times out of 5 games against any other teams starters. I'll take it and hold it.
 

JimD

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In all likelihood, the Red Sox are going to be solidly in the playoff hunt come the trading deadline. If Pivetta hasn't been slapped down hard by regression, I wouldn't be actively trying to move him, although I'd be Ok with including him in a trade that is a net positive for the Red Sox and has a strong potential to improve the team. I'm not a fan of the idea of getting cute and trying to time when to sell high on him. Plus, I'm pretty sure that most other MLB front offices are seeing those same stats - a potential regression is going to be priced into any deal.

Given the not so great news this weekend about Tanner Houck, I'm generally inclined to just keep Pivetta exactly where he is until better pitchers force him out of his spot in the rotation.
 
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BaseballJones

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Still a small sample size with Boston, but this is fun anyway....

Pivetta with Phi: 19-30, 5.50 era, 78 era+, 1.43 whip
Pivetta with Bos: 7-0, 2.89 era, 154 era+, 1.26 whip
 

Manramsclan

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Still a small sample size with Boston, but this is fun anyway....

Pivetta with Phi: 19-30, 5.50 era, 78 era+, 1.43 whip
Pivetta with Bos: 7-0, 2.89 era, 154 era+, 1.26 whip
This is not without precedent either. There are a lot of pitchers who "figure it out" in their late 20's and have a couple of very good seasons(Jake Arrieta comes to mind).

That said, if he doesn't keep the walks down the hits he does give up will send him crashing back to the mean, and quickly too.
 

BaseballJones

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His control was excellent tonight vs the Angels. Too bad he didn’t get the win.
This is where baseball scoring rules sometimes stink.

Pivetta goes 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run, while walking none and striking out 7. Leaves the game with a runner on base and a 2-1 lead. Andriese comes in and gives up a hard single to right, a deep fly that would have been a homer had Renfroe not been there to make the catch at the wall in right, and a hard double that scored two runs, one of them counting against Pivetta. So Andriese blows the game and gets rocked, and leaves the game behind after coming in with the Sox ahead. But Boston scores two in the bottom of the inning, and before the next Sox' pitcher can take the mound, Boston suddenly has the lead again. Ottavino and Barnes slam the door shut (they actually did their jobs), and the win goes not to the starter who pitched lights-out, but to the reliever who blew the game for the starter and got lit up, only to have the batters bail him out.

Thankfully, CYA voters no longer seriously consider wins in their evaluation. Well, most of them don't anyway.
 

mauf

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Pivetta threw 67 of 92 pitches for strikes, including 14 swinging strikes. Best outing of the season.

And yeah, funny that on a night when three of the Sox’ four pitchers were excellent, the one who wasn’t got the win.
 

nighthob

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The Yankees still frighten me, and the Dodgers are still likely WS repeat favorites, but if the Sox bring Sale back and he's useful, along with adding a dominant reliever at the deadline (goodbye Duran).
No team running Franchy Cordero out in the outfield should be trading legit OF prospects. And certainly not because there’s a guy that might be the ‘24 starter in A ball.
 

Detts

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If the Sox trade Duran this year I will break shit. He’s close and a STUD. Home grown cost controlled talent.

No way Chaim moves him. In Chaim I trust.
 

bosockboy

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If the Sox trade Duran this year I will break shit. He’s close and a STUD. Home grown cost controlled talent.

No way Chaim moves him. In Chaim I trust.
Agreed he’s going nowhere. He’ll take over CF very soon and can leave Kiki at 2B.

They need a LF bat and a quality reliever.
 

Salem's Lot

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If the Sox trade Duran this year I will break shit. He’s close and a STUD. Home grown cost controlled talent.

No way Chaim moves him. In Chaim I trust.
The only place Duran is getting moved to is left field in Fenway by August 1st. There is no way that Bloom is trading this guy for a reliever, and he has a good shot to being that left handed bat that they need anyway.
 

Cesar Crespo

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They’d be lucky to get an Austin Brice for Wilson
They got Ziegler for Almonte and Basabe. Add a fringe prospect or two to Wilson and they could get an okay MR back. Someone better than Brice anyway.

Regardless, I don't see this team trading away any of their top prospects for a MR.
 

Twilight

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Regardless, I don't see this team trading away any of their top prospects for a MR.
From your lips to Bloom's ears. I bet some Sox fan said the same thing on August 29th, 1990.

It'd be Casas, rather than Duran, if we followed the script. But this year's 'pen is a lot better than in 1990, and I trust Chaim Bloom a lot more than Lou Gorman.
 

OCD SS

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On this weeks Chin Music podcast, KG mentioned that the Astros had tried to acquire Pivetta for years because all of his advanced measures (spin rate, etc) were elite and competitive with MLB aces. There’s still development work for him and the team to do, but it’s reassuring that one of the other “smart” teams were looking to get him.

Edit: there's a quick rundown on the Sox starting around the 25 minute mark.
 
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