Nick Pivetta is cementing his spot in the Red Sox starting rotation
Spring training will soon be coming to an end as April 1st and Opening Day are quickly approaching for the Red Sox. Boston currently sits 7-6 in the Grapefruit League, not great but not awful, and things are starting to take shape. Going into this offseason and eventually spring training this organization had a lot of questions with very few answers. Luckily, many of those equations have been solved and the biggest of them all, the starting rotation, has gotten a solid boost in Nick Pivetta.
The righty made his third start of spring training today and things have gone pretty smoothly for him up to this point. Pivetta owns a 1-1 record through those three starts and carries a 3.00 ERA having given up just three runs and eight hits in 9.0 IP. He came to the Red Sox at the trade deadline last season and quickly built a 2-0 record through 10 innings of work and finished with a 1.80 ERA.
He’s one of those guys that we’ve always heard has great potential but for some reason or another things just never clicked. Well, so far in Boston things are clicking pretty damn well.
As we saw in 2020, the Red Sox needed to do something pretty significant to salvage this starting rotation and while they didn’t splash insane money on a big-name free agent, they brought in the right guys. Chaim Bloom got Pivetta last year around the same time that Tanner Houck was promoted and dominated the final month of the season.
He also added Matt Andriese, Garrett Richards, and re-signed fan favorite Martin Perez. The battle for the five rotation spots will be fun to watch in the final two weeks of spring training but Pivetta is more than locking up his spot.
Eduardo Rodriguez is a lock for the Opening Day call and will once again be the anchor and ace of this staff. After him, it feels kind of like it’s anyone’s guess as Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t been strong this spring whereas Pivetta, Richards, and Perez have all excelled. The righty spoke to the media today and despite his strong start, he was still pretty critical of his efforts and wants to continue improving.
"“I still want to get my curveball over for strikes a little bit more, get out of those first innings quicker,” he said. “I wasn’t too happy about the walks today but they’re going to happen here and there. I’ve kept it around the zone for the most part. I was nibbling a little bit. Bushy (pitching coach Dave Bush) told me get in the zone a little bit more and that helped.”"
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I’m not surprised that he has hard on himself and still feels as if he needs to put some more work in considering his career. I will say that since coming to Boston he’s seen his career have a resurgence and is becoming proof that having a change of scenery really can be what a player needs.
Back when Bloom made the trade that was one of the things that he pointed out about Pivetta and felt that he needed the right coaches in the right organization to reach his potential. Enter: Alex Cora, Dave Bush, and the Boston Red Sox.
I know there’s still plenty of time left in spring for the train to go off the rails but from what we’ve seen, it’s hard to think things are going to go that route. In my opinion, Pivetta is going to be the third man in the rotation behind E-Rod and Eovaldi. Based on how he finished off 2020 and has kicked off 2021 it’s hard to see him falling lower as far as the starters are concerned.
At the end of the day, he has more than locked in his spot in this pitching staff and could very well be the one we’re talking the most about when the season comes to an end. The sample size is still small but it’s been pretty successful and I’m going to go ahead and let myself get excited about that. There are pieces of this team that honestly have me pretty jacked for the regular season and seeing Nick Pivetta deal in a Red Sox uniform for a full campaign is one of them.