Pivetta with the Phillies in 2018
|Philadelphia Phillies - No. 43|
|Born: February 14, 1993|
Victoria, British Columbia
|April 30, 2017, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2019 season)
|Earned run average||5.34|
Nicholas Johncarlo Pivetta (born February 14, 1993), is a Canadian professional baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Washington Nationals selected Pivetta in the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. He was traded to Philadelphia during the 2015 season, and made his major league debut with them in 2017.
Pivetta was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He attended Lambrick Park Secondary School in Saanich, British Columbia. He missed pitching his senior year in high school due to an ulnar collateral ligament injury in his right elbow. He was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team from 2009-12, pitching in the 2010 18U World Championship.
He attended New Mexico Junior College where he played for the Thunderbirds on a baseball scholarship, and graduated in 2013. In his first season, he was 4-1 with a 4.83 ERA in 54 innings. As a sophomore in 2013, he was 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA, had a .235 batting average against, and pitched six complete games. Baseball America named him the 6th-best junior college prospect in 2013, and Perfect Game USA ranked him the 3rd-best junior college prospect, as his fastball reached as high as 97 miles per hour. He played for the Victoria Eagles of the youth baseball British Columbia Premier Baseball League, and the Victoria HarbourCats of the collegiate summer West Coast League.
The Washington Nationals selected Pivetta in the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft out of New Mexico Junior College. He signed with the Nationals for $364,300, and made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Nationals of the Rookie Gulf Coast League. He ended the season with the Auburn Doubledays of the Class A- New York-Pennsylvania League. In nine games (eight starts) between the two teams, he was 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA.
Pivetta spent 2014 with the Class A Hagerstown Suns, where he was a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star, the June 23 SAL Pitcher of the Week, and where his 13 wins were third in the SAL and tied for first among all Washington minor leaguers. He finished the season with a 13-8 record, 4.22 ERA, and 1.37 WHIP in 26 games (25 starts; tied for 7th in the league). Following the season, Baseball America named him the 10th-best prospect in the Nationals' minor league system.
In 2016, he was 11-6 (his 11 wins were 3rd in the league) with a 3.41 ERA (6th) and 111 strikeouts (6th) for the Double-A Reading Phillies, with whom Pivetta was an Eastern League mid-season All Star. He was also 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 24.2 innings in five starts for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The Phillies added him to their 40-man roster after the 2016 season.
In 2017, Pivetta went 5-0 with a 1.41 ERA for the IronPigs, and was Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week for the week ended April 16. Pivetta was promoted to the 25-man roster on April 30, making his debut the same day against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was then 8-10 with a 6.02 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 133 innings for the Phillies. Among Major League rookies, he was 1st in strikeouts-per-nine-innings-pitched (9.47, minimum 125 innings pitched; the highest ratio ever by a Phillies rookie with at least 25 starts), and 3rd in strikeouts (140; tied for the 9th-most strikeouts in a season ever by a Phillies rookie).
In 2018, Pivetta was 7-14 with a 4.77 ERA, 5th in the National League with 10.32 strikeouts-per-9-innings-pitched (the 2nd-highest rate of any Phillie pitcher in franchise history, behind Curt Schilling's 11.29 in 1997), 8th in the NL in strikeouts (188) and wild pitches (11), 9th in the NL in games started (32) and strikeouts/walk (3.69), and led the major leagues in allowing opposing batters the highest batting average on balls in play (.326). He struck out a career-high 13 batters on June 18 against St. Louis. His fastball was clocked as high as 98 miles per hour.
In 2019, Pivetta struggled at the beginning of the season before being demoted to AAA. With Lehigh Valley he was 5-1 with a 3.07 ERA, as in 9 games (6 starts) and 41.0 innings he struck out 58 batters (with a 12.7 strikeouts/innings ratio, 5th-best in the International League), and giving up 23 hits had the best hits/9 innings ratio in the league at 5.0. On July 19, it was announced he would be shifted to a relief role. In 2019 with the Phillies he was 4-6 with one save and a 5.38 ERA, as in 30 games (13 starts) he pitched 93.2 innings.
Pivetta throws a four-seam fastball, a curveball, a slider, and a changeup. He relies mostly on his fastball, which averages 96 miles per hour, and his two breaking balls. In 2017 and 2018, he threw his fastball 59 percent of the time, his 80 mph curve 19 percent of the time, and his 85 mph slider 15 percent of the time.