Nick Pivetta has been a massive steal for the Red Sox
The days are short, the air is cold, and baseball is nowhere close to returning to our lives. Despite the depression that is the MLB lockout, we must try and stay positive and look to what 2022 may bring. For the Red Sox, an unlikely hero rose to the occasion when the team needed him the most in 2021, and they’ll be looking for even more from Nick Pivetta next year.
I’m going to start this off by making it very clear that I’m a Nick Pivetta Guy. A few Phillies fans that I know gave me the heads up about how good he can be when he’s on while also being honest about when he isn’t. Well, we’ve all heard how a change of scenery can do wonders for a player and Nicky P sure seems to fit that bill.
Since arriving in Boston, he’s been one of the more reliable arms Alex Cora can call on when the time is right. I’m sure there are some out there that will point to his record, but in the year 2022, that’s a beyond useless stat. When the Red Sox needed him the most he stepped up and even in games where he wasn’t clicking on all cylinders he did everything he could to protect the bullpen.
So, why do I think that he can be the steal of the century? Well, because he pretty much already is. Now we do have to remember that Connor Seabold was also part of the deal, which just sweetens the pot even more, but so far only Captain Canada has been a factor. As much as I’m looking forward to Seabold joining the big club in the future, this is all about the man from Victoria, BC.
In order to bring Pivetta and Seabold to Boston, Chaim had to send Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman to Philly. At the time the Red Sox were doing nothing and the Phillies were trying to be competitive. Things didn’t quite work out for the City of Brotherly Love as neither Workman nor Hembree even plays for the team anymore. That’s the definition of a win in the old trade department.
I liked Pivetta based on what I saw from him in 2020 and for most of 2021, but it was this past Postseason that really got me fired up to see him again. A usually calm and stoic figure, as the Red Sox were in a fight for the final Wild Card spot we saw more and more emotion from the righty. If you need a shot of adrenaline, look no further than his appearance in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays.
The right-hander was set to start Game 4 but with things knotted up and heading into extras, Cora went to Pivetta to save the bullpen as five relievers had already been used. He would pitch four scoreless innings while striking out seven Rays batters in impressive fashion.
With each inning of work, his energy grew as he would stomp and storm off the mound shouting and banging his chest. Some people drink Red Bull, some use pre-workout, I watch Nick Pivetta screaming at a sold-out Fenway Park in October.
While we have no idea when this exhausting lockout will end we can still look at the upcoming season and have some idea of what to expect. The door is wide open for Pivetta to put on a performance that will further earn him the love of Red Sox Nation. Now that Eduardo Rodriguez is calling Detroit home, a slot has opened up further in the rotation for Nicky P to do some work.
It’ll be interesting to see where Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale line up as far as the starters are concerned. Sale is obviously the ace but it’s hard to say that Evo hasn’t earned that top billing either. No matter where the big dogs fall in the pecking order, Pivetta will be the number three man in the order and isn’t a pushover by any means. He’s a solid complement to what Sale and Eovaldi offer and will further keep batters on their toes.
His 4.53 ERA in 2021 isn’t the prettiest number but it was a career-best for him while he also tallied his second-highest inning count at 155.0. He also tallied a second-best 1.303 WHIP as he managed an impressive 10.2/3.8 K/BB ratio which balances out to 2.69 whiffs for every free pass. As the third man in the rotation, that’s exactly what I want to see from him, and with the higher role in the staff, he could rise even further with more confidence behind him.
Chaim Bloom absolutely fleeced the Phillies when he went after Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. If we’re looking at the trade on the surface as it stands right now the Red Sox won in a landslide and have a much better outlook than their trade partners. Pivetta won over the Fenway Faithful during his short appearances in 2020 and further garnered their love in 2021. If we can get even a portion of what we got from him last season then Boston will be sitting pretty.