Nick Pivetta - Bad, Average, or Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good?

The_Dali

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Jul 2, 2021
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Hi everyone …first time starting a thread here. I enjoy reading all the differing points of view, but I’d like to turn us to actual baseball talk and move away from contracts and front office rumblings.

As I’ve been reading through multiple threads about strategy, the front office, contracts and everything that’s going on with this off-season, I’ve seen quite a few references to Nick Pivetta. And usually in a negative light.

Many of these references are talking about Pivetta as a maybe fourth, but probably fifth starter in the rotation - kind of a below average pitcher - and pretty much discounting him in the rotation.

I personally like Nick Pivetta, and think he brings some real value to the rotation. Simply eating innings definitely has value, and most of his outings are not putting us in a position to lose. So in reading some of the recent comments I started to think about whether or not Pivetta is a good pitcher, an average pitcher, or actually a bad pitcher. All signs seem to indicate to me that he is an average pitcher, which feels like a number 3/4 in the rotation as opposed to a five. He doesn’t have a ton of seasons, but certainly his two recent seasons with the Red Sox (with an era+ of 92 and 103) lead me to believe that he’s pretty much league average pitcher (which has value coupled with his salary)

He provides a consistent presence in the rotation and eats innings.

So, how does SOSH view Pivetta? With all the hand-wringing and negatively surrounded the rotation I would expect that Nick would be a source of comfort, yet it doesn’t feel that way. Thoughts??
 

simplicio

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The big mystery of Pivetta this year (and I don't recall it being an issue in 2021, but I could be wrong) was how much he managed to suck within the division vs how he was pretty good against the rest of baseball. Is that something the team can figure out? I have no idea; they certainly couldn't over the course of this season, so maybe that's just a thing with him now, but at least we play more against the rest of baseball next year.
 

Seels

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Jul 20, 2005
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I think he kind of sucks. His xera and xfip are bottom 10 in the league for qualified starters. In his defense, he does pitch a fair amount of innings. But they aren't high quality. He's also pretty streaky. Terrible in April, great in May and June, terrible in July, good in August, terribl in September.

I think he'd be a quality 5 but on a team that needs him to be a 3 or a 2, he's really not ideal\

I also think the faint praise for Bloom for the Pivetta trade is nonsense. Guys like him are all over the league. A team that is really competing for a pennant doesn't have great use for Pivetta. A 78 win team? Sure. Great. Again, the context matters, and if Pivetta were eating innings as a back of the rotation starter, maybe my view changes. He's needed on the 2023 team. He has no role on this team whenever they decide to compete again.
 

radsoxfan

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He's building up a pretty consistent record of mediocrity. 5 full-ish years in the majors, 7.9 total WAR. 1.5 WAR last year, projected for 1.5 WAR in 2023 (Fangraphs).

I don't think he's bad in the sense he doesn't deserve a major league job. But seems pretty clear a good team would slot him in at end of the rotation/long man type job rather than a 3rd starter range.

He does have decent stuff and seems to have stretches where he looks really good, but you could probably say that about a lot of mediocre pitchers that never get over the hump.
 

Sin Duda

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He'll always be good with me due to his fiery performance in G3 of 2021 playoffs against TB, pounding his chest after each inning-ending strikeout in high leverage situations. Good stuff. And in the last two seasons, 2.6 bWAR each season. That'll do for me for my #4 or 5. And, if he doesn't break down, I expect better results as he continues to learn how to get batters out without walking too many. He was 4.53 and 4.56 ERA the past two seasons. In 2023, I expect him to be 4.25 or better in 150+ innings.

Pic is from this Masslive Article
1671593993090.png
 
Last edited:
May 18, 2021
32
New Orleans, LA
He'll always be good with me due to his fiery performance in G3 of 2021 playoffs against TB, pounding his chest after each inning-ending strikeout in high leverage situations. Good stuff. And in the last two seasons, 2.6 bWAR each season. That'll do for me for my #4 or 5. And, if he doesn't break down, I expect better results as he continues to learn how to get batters out without walking too many. He was 4.53 md 4.56 EAR the past two seasons. In 2023, I expect him to be 4.25 or better in 150+ innings.

Pic is from this Masslive Article
View attachment 59181
I immediately thought of this too, and wondered if Pivetta’s greatest asset (his ability to chew up innings) might just keep him from his true calling (a chest-slapping Celine Dion beast in the late innings).
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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I like him. He’s a great return on the Workman deal, and despite a concerning velo dip last year, he’s got decent stuff. But I’ve favored dealing him if we can acquire another starter, especially one we’d rather start a playoff game (like Eovaldi or Kluber), or sign another short-term guy like Hill who can give us roughly the same ERA.

Pivetta now seems like a SP version of Renfroe. Good player; odd fit for our team right now. He’s not good enough to anchor a staff or start a playoff game, but he’s too good to bump from his role, so he arguably blocks the development time of some guys you want to break in. He’s certainly not bad, but only got him two more years, and I don’t think he’s someone you worry about extending. We’ve got a bunch of pitchers that we should be breaking in at the back of the rotation the next two years (Whitlock, Bello, Crawford? Houck? Seabold? Mata? Winckowski? Walter?). I’d rather give another of that crew some run and see if we could use Pivetta to plug another hole (RF, say) than eat the opportunity cost of seeing if one of those guys can stick long-term.
 

simplicio

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In his defense, he does pitch a fair amount of innings.
Really, he doesn't pitch enough innings. What he does is make starts. Like, every. Single. Start. He's been on the IL four times in his whole career going back to 2017, never for more than 10 days. I'd say that consistency more than anything is hugely valuable, especially for a rotation with as many injury concerns as ours, in a way that I'm not sure WAR captures.
But while he's among the top 12 guys by starts made over the last two seasons (all between 63 and 65 starts), he's pitched the fewest innings of any of them. He doesn't typically last long into games, and it's not just a third time through the order thing; his numbers get worse there but not alarmingly so. He just gives up too many runs, too consistently (except when he's on one of his hot streaks like last May/June where he was the best player on the team for 2 months straight; why can't he be that guy all the time?). His quality of contact given up is alarmingly bad. But as a #5 who will take the mound every time and give you more of a chance than a Winckowski start? I don't want to trade that away without good reason. 59183
 

nvalvo

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I think his durability (knock on wood) is a huge asset given how many high upside/low floor pitchers we have. And when he’s good, he’s great.

I also think there was some advanced scouting/quality control eff ups connected to him getting completely dismantled by the AL East. Those are all good teams, so it’s not crazy that this would happen, but it feels like that is insufficient to explain an effect this dramatic. But you know if *we’re* thinking about this, some baseball ops folks are scouring video looking for tips or over-predictable pitch calls or anything that might explain that oddity. If they could get that straightened out, that would be pretty important; also, we’ll face the AL East a bit less next season, so that could help him.
 

Sprowl

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I like PIvetta's chances of making significant forward progress over his rather disappointing 2022 season, mostly because of his stuff: his curve has plenty of bite and he is not afraid to throw it at the top of the strike zone. It is a legitimate weapon. His fastball velocity is quite respectable, which gives him a floor that most #5 starters can't guarantee. Occasionally he has thrown a decent slider, and rarely a split-change, so attaining a respectable third pitch is not beyond hope.

He has been the only reliable starter for several years now. Eventually he'll break down under this relentlessly regular starting regime, but probably not for a few more years.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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He's totally awesome. Other teams should totally trade us a lot of awesome stuff for him. Everything is awesome.

He's pretty awful & I will be disappointed if they don't trade him. Still a good trade, though.
 

Sin Duda

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He's totally awesome. Other teams should totally trade us a lot of awesome stuff for him. Everything is awesome.

He's pretty awful & I will be disappointed if they don't trade him. Still a good trade, though.
Yeah, I don't get this sort of post. I thought we were trying to move away from this claptrap.
 

JM3

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Yeah, I don't get this sort of post. I thought we were trying to move away from this claptrap.
I've posted a # of posts about Pivetta over several different threads. I can't always be in the mood to reiterate all my issues with everything.

But here's a bullet point summary of how bad Pivetta was in '22...

* 2nd in MLB in BB & BB/9
* T10th in homers allowed
* T7th in wild pitches
* 3rd worst K/BB ratio among qualifying pitchers
* 3rd most steals allowed
* Most pitches per inning

& it's not like those volume stats are because he pitches a crazy # of innings - he was 28th in the league.

This is not the profile of a pitcher who will thrive with the new rules which will make base stealing easier, & the high hard hit % & low chase % #s are concerning.

I believe the Red Sox value walk rates for hitters & pitchers even more with the rule changes & that's why they're targeting players like Martin & Yoshida.

Additionally, his fastball is down from 94.8 in '21 to 93.4 in '22 & he's a glorified 3 pitch pitcher whose change-up is awful (opponents hit .529 against it this year).

& unlike the analysis I did on Joe Ross in the starting pitching thread, Pivetta doesn't really have opener/bulk reliever potential because he's pretty bad from the 1st time through the order:

1st time through: 4.41 ERA
2nd time through: 4.16 ERA
3rd time through: 5.56 ERA

To me he's the epitome of a JAG. He does not have the stuff to compete in the playoffs (although he did well in 3 appearances in '21...) & I don't need him running out there being fungible & mediocre for a lot of innings. If that's the best we have to offer on a regular basis, this roster remake isn't really working the way I would like (& i generally think it's going fine).

So if a Royals-esque team needs a guy to pitch innings, they should trade us something of some value for him & we should move on to players with higher upside.
 
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scottyno

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To me he's the epitome of a JAG. He does not have the stuff to compete in the playoffs (although he did well in 3 appearances in '21...) & I don't need him running out there being fungible & mediocre for a lot of innings. If that's the best we have to offer on a regular basis, this roster remake isn't really working the way I would like (& i generally think it's going fine).
Not sure how you can call him a JAG after we had to watch actual JAGs make 30-40 starts last season. Replace those starts with Pivetta quality ones and they're pretty close to the playoffs last year.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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He's the modern day Jeff Suppan. He's never injured, gives you a bunch of average to just below average innings, and he'll luck into a hot streak once in a while. There's a lot of value in that on the right team.
 

Daniel_Son

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He's a feast-or-famine guy who averages out to, well, average. Probably as solid of a #4 starter as you could ask for. With our current mix of older guys coming off of injuries (Sale/Paxton) and younger guys who'll probably be on stricter IP limits (Bello/Whitlock/Houck), I think there's a lot of value in a guy like Pivetta in our rotation.
 

JM3

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Not sure how you can call him a JAG after we had to watch actual JAGs make 30-40 starts last season. Replace those starts with Pivetta quality ones and they're pretty close to the playoffs last year.
All major league pitchers combined had a 3.96 ERA last year.

There is only value to a 4.56 guy if your other options are Winckowski/Seabold.

Crawford is the other JAG who gets you up to 31, but I like his underlying pitch options better & think he's still improving. Bello has JAG results, but those seem, hopefully, to be illusory.

The problem is that what Pivetta provided in 33 starts wasn't good enough either.

Despite winning 9 of 10 in one stretch, the Red Sox were 15-18 when Pivetta started. That's simply not good enough - especially when considering the Red Sox scored 5.3 runs per game in his starts & 4.3 runs per game in games he didn't start. Even Winckowski was 7-7 with 4.2 runs per game support.

Here's the record in games started by each pitcher for fun:

Wacha 16-7
Pivetta 15-18
Hill 14-12
Eovaldi 11-9
Wickowski 7-7
Whitlock 5-4
Crawford 3-9
Houck 2-2
Bello 2-9
Davis 1-2
Seabold 1-4
Sale 0-2

The replacement level needs to be higher than what Pivetta was last season. If you think he's a better pitcher than what he showed last year, then that's fine, but I don't particularly.
 

Rovin Romine

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He's a feast-or-famine guy who averages out to, well, average. Probably as solid of a #4 starter as you could ask for. With our current mix of older guys coming off of injuries (Sale/Paxton) and younger guys who'll probably be on stricter IP limits (Bello/Whitlock/Houck), I think there's a lot of value in a guy like Pivetta in our rotation.
I'm pretty much in this boat.

His career numbers suggest he does well early in the year, so perhaps the non-stop-starts are not helping him as the season goes on. He's shown he can be effective for long stretches and he has good stuff, so it's likely not just a mirage. It's the staff's job to help him build on that. If he were to run out a much better season would anybody be surprised?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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He's a feast-or-famine guy who averages out to, well, average. Probably as solid of a #4 starter as you could ask for. With our current mix of older guys coming off of injuries (Sale/Paxton) and younger guys who'll probably be on stricter IP limits (Bello/Whitlock/Houck), I think there's a lot of value in a guy like Pivetta in our rotation.
Id be willing to bet he’s going to take a huge step forward in ‘23. I suspect we’ll see him as a true mid rotation guy. Likely his bad performance against the ALE was random (how do you find BABiP against certain teams?). That in itself is bound to improve along with simply not facing them as much.in ‘23.
His durability is underrated and a good insurance policy in this current rotation. Shouldn’t the overall value of a pitcher be:
VoP+VoAverageReplacementStarter?
What’s deGromm’s value plus the amount of innings that an average non-intended replacement starter makes in his absence?
Obviously if your top prospect comes in it’s likely okay but if it’s a Winckowski you’re screwed, so it has to be all fill-in starters in aggregate throughout the season. Those types that you can pencil in for 170 innings (remember when it was 200?) come out even more valuable *. I’m bullish on him lowering his ERA down to around 4.2 with some dominant stretches again.

*Yes it’d be nice if our innings eating horse was an ace type but alas.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Id be willing to bet he’s going to take a huge step forward in ‘23. I suspect we’ll see him as a true mid rotation guy. Likely his bad performance against the ALE was random (how do you find BABiP against certain teams?). That in itself is bound to improve along with simply not facing them as much.in ‘23.
His durability is underrated and a good insurance policy in this current rotation. Shouldn’t the overall value of a pitcher be:
VoP+VoAverageReplacementStarter?
Here's Pivetta's splits from last year against individual teams, including BABIP. Same table exists for every season as well as his whole career.

The relevant data for the ALE:
Orioles: 3 games, 16 innings, 3.38 ERA, 1.313 WHIP, .386 BABIP
Yankees: 5 games, 23.2 innings, 9.51 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, .350 BABIP
Rays: 4 games, 19.2 innings, 6.86 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, .322 BABIP
Jays: 4 games, 19.2 innings, 5.95 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, .305 BABIP

Seems pretty arbitrary to me. Where he had his highest BABIP, he had to most success. I think his bigger problem, against the Yankees in particular, was the gopher ball (something not included in BABIP). He gave up 10 HR to the Yankees alone. Three more to each of the Rays and Jays, none to the O's. That accounts for about 60% of his total HR allowed in only about 43% of his innings pitched. If he keeps the ball in the park, he'll have better success, to state the obvious.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I think he kind of sucks. His xera and xfip are bottom 10 in the league for qualified starters. In his defense, he does pitch a fair amount of innings. But they aren't high quality. He's also pretty streaky. Terrible in April, great in May and June, terrible in July, good in August, terribl in September.

I think he'd be a quality 5 but on a team that needs him to be a 3 or a 2, he's really not ideal\

I also think the faint praise for Bloom for the Pivetta trade is nonsense. Guys like him are all over the league. A team that is really competing for a pennant doesn't have great use for Pivetta. A 78 win team? Sure. Great. Again, the context matters, and if Pivetta were eating innings as a back of the rotation starter, maybe my view changes. He's needed on the 2023 team. He has no role on this team whenever they decide to compete again.
The 92-win, two-games-from-the-World-Series, 2021 Red Sox had a pretty significant use for Nick Pivetta.
 

simplicio

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Here's Pivetta's splits from last year against individual teams, including BABIP. Same table exists for every season as well as his whole career.

The relevant data for the ALE:
Orioles: 3 games, 16 innings, 3.38 ERA, 1.313 WHIP, .386 BABIP
Yankees: 5 games, 23.2 innings, 9.51 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, .350 BABIP
Rays: 4 games, 19.2 innings, 6.86 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, .322 BABIP
Jays: 4 games, 19.2 innings, 5.95 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, .305 BABIP

Seems pretty arbitrary to me. Where he had his highest BABIP, he had to most success. I think his bigger problem, against the Yankees in particular, was the gopher ball (something not included in BABIP). He gave up 10 HR to the Yankees alone. Three more to each of the Rays and Jays, none to the O's. That accounts for about 60% of his total HR allowed in only about 43% of his innings pitched. If he keeps the ball in the park, he'll have better success, to state the obvious.
He also saw only Baltimore and Toronto (once apiece) during his hot streak. Not sure if that's a chicken/egg situation though.
 

The_Dali

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Jul 2, 2021
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All major league pitchers combined had a 3.96 ERA last year.

There is only value to a 4.56 guy if your other options are Winckowski/Seabold.

That’s not a fair comparison as Pivetta is a starter and the above included all pitchers. I couldn’t find ERA for starts across the league.

Imo Pivetta is a nice part of the rotation given that the bulk of our rotation is so unknown or unreliable.

I do find it interesting that people feel he isn’t a playoff type of pitcher when the actual results so far say the contrary (sss of 13.2 innings with 2.62 ERA)
 

rodderick

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Pivetta is a below average pitcher who manages not to be awful for a significant number of starts, which has some value in this league. The issue is counting on Pivetta to be a stalwart in your rotation while having a plethora of young or injured pitchers around him.
 

scottyno

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All major league pitchers combined had a 3.96 ERA last year.

There is only value to a 4.56 guy if your other options are Winckowski/Seabold.
All major league pitchers aren't starters pitching half their games at one of the toughest hitters parks in the toughest division in baseball. He has a 99 era+ over 65 starts in 2+ seasons, so it's fair to say he's essentially a league average pitcher. Very few teams wouldn't find value in a league average starter giving you 30+ starts.
 

ehaz

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Pivetta's best quality is his ability to take the ball every 5th day. For a team that is relying on Chris Sale, James Paxton, and a bunch of young guys in their rotation, that's too valuable to trade away. He was about league average in 2021 and significantly below league average in 2022.

If Bello, Whitlock, Houck all work out and Sale/Paxton stay relatively healthy, maybe you trade Pivetta at the deadline or move him to the pen. I think he'd actually be quite valuable in relief since he's a two-pitch spin-rate darling with solid K rates over his career. You'd think his stuff would play up and the walk numbers wouldn't be as concerning. But at least for now, we need him in the rotation.
 

Fishercat

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I do think that durability and innings, especially in a baseball world that is leaning more and more on versatile bullpens, its more important than may be recognized. Just for a sake of comparison, Nick Pivetta over the past two years has 3.7 fangraphs WAR or 5.2 baseball reference WAR. Even using the fWAR value, that is close to the value Taijuan Walker had who just signed a 4 year / 72m deal with DD in Philly - a pitcher who had a similar playout in New York in the last two seasons - a lot of innings, about 8 K/9, (Pivetta was above 9), just a tick below 3 BB/9 (Pivetta just under 4) - like the big difference is Taijuan had a better 2022 but the values over the past two are very similar. Jameson Taillion is another one who got 4 years (68m) - a bit more similar to Walker but with worse performance. Sean Minaea got 2/25 with a pretty bad 2022. Like, mid-level innnigs eaters seem to be 12-15m pitchers in this market and some of the names are ones I think Sox fans were hoping might end up in the rotation. I think a lot of the criticisms are valid, but merely making 30 starts a year around a league average ERA I think puts you safely above "bad" at this point.
 

nvalvo

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All major league pitchers combined had a 3.96 ERA last year.

There is only value to a 4.56 guy if your other options are Winckowski/Seabold.
If we repeat that analysis with a park adjusted statistic he looks way better, right?

Sometimes it feels like innings pitched is the most underrated statistic in the game.
 

JM3

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All major league pitchers aren't starters pitching half their games at one of the toughest hitters parks in the toughest division in baseball. He has a 99 era+ over 65 starts in 2+ seasons, so it's fair to say he's essentially a league average pitcher. Very few teams wouldn't find value in a league average starter giving you 30+ starts.
The player with the most innings pitched for the Yankees with a worse ERA than Pivetta was Frankie Montas (39.2). For the Astros, that player was Ronel Blanco with 6.1. For the Dodgers it was Phil Bickford with 61. For the Rays it was Ryan Yarbrough with 80. For the Mariners it was Tommy Milone with 16.2. For the Mets it was Joely Rodriguez with 50.1 (oops).

Those are the teams we are trying to be like & they aren't running out subpar pitching every 5 days.

Some other teams like the Phillies (Gibson), Padres (Manaea), Blue Jays (Berrios), & Braves (Anderson) each ran out 1 comparably mediocre starter last year.

What he provided was fine for a depth piece, but it's not good enough if the Red Sox plan on actually contending. Whether that means he needs to be replaced, or he needs to find a way to pitch better, who knows?

If we repeat that analysis with a park adjusted statistic he looks way better, right?

Sometimes it feels like innings pitched is the most underrated statistic in the game.
Fenway had the 3rd or 4th highest park factor in '22 depending on which system you use. Not 100% sure how to directly correlate that to ERA. For example, on Baseball Savant where they have Fenway 3rd, they have it as having a Park Factor of 109, which I believe is 9% more offense at home than on the road, so 9% less ERA at home would be like 4.37, & his road ERA was 4.32 in a similar # of innings, so let's call it 4.34? His xFIP kind of tracks with that with 4.24 at home & 4.29 on the road.

His ERA by month was quite a rollercoaster:

March/April 8.27
May 2.11
June 2.25
July 9.38
August 4.08
September 5.29

I'm probably being overly negative. I'm just concerned that a guy who already walks way too many people, throws way too many pitches, allows way too many homers & who is a 3-pitch pitcher who has lost speed off his fastball is more likely to regress further than to bounce back. As the roster is currently constructed they kind of need that baseline mediocrity. I'm just hoping there is something more compelling in the works.
 

rockchalkredsox

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Some other teams like the Phillies (Gibson), Padres (Manaea), Blue Jays (Berrios), & Braves (Anderson) each ran out 1 comparably mediocre starter last year.

What he provided was fine for a depth piece, but it's not good enough if the Red Sox plan on actually contending. Whether that means he needs to be replaced, or he needs to find a way to pitch better, who knows?
Seemed to be good enough for those teams. Pivetta wasn't the problem with the 2022 Sox nor would he be for other contending teams.
 

JM3

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Seemed to be good enough for those teams. Pivetta wasn't the problem with the 2022 Sox nor would he be for other contending teams.
If you have 4 definitively better starters, you can still make the playoffs with '22 Pivetta as your 5th starter. That's not really something to aspire to when you could aspire to just have...5 better starters.
 

chawson

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If you have 4 definitively better starters, you can still make the playoffs with '22 Pivetta as your 5th starter. That's not really something to aspire to when you could aspire to just have...5 better starters.
That's the thing. We probably do have four better starters. The projections say we have five (Sale, Whitlock, Bello, Paxton and Houck), and still reportedly in on Eovaldi and Hill.

Pivetta's durability is nice, but it's kinda getting in the way. Wouldn't we need some starters' innings we can give these six young starting pitchers (Crawford, Seabold, Winckowski, Mata, Walter, Murphy) on the 40-man that we're hoping can make the jump to Boston soon?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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What did the projections say for last year? And what do they say for Crawford, Seabold, Winckowski, etc?

I don’t get the desire to dump Pivetta and Houck, at all. Once we have too many healthy and effective pitchers, we can deal with it then.
 

chawson

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What did the projections say for last year? And what do they say for Crawford, Seabold, Winckowski, etc?

I don’t get the desire to dump Pivetta and Houck, at all. Once we have too many healthy and effective pitchers, we can deal with it then.
2022 SP FIP projections by Steamer c. last winter (via the Wayback Machine):
Sale: 3.36
Eovaldi: 3.58
Whitlock: 3.70
Paxton: 4.04
Houck: 4.09
Crawford: 4.31
Pivetta: 4.48
Wacha: 4.57
Hill: 4.89

2023 SP FIP projections by Steamer:
Sale 3.24
Houck 3.57
Bello 3.62
Whitlock 3.82
Walter 3.82
Paxton 4.11
Crawford 4.24
Mata 4.32
Winckowski 4.32
Pivetta 4.44
Seabold 4.55

We wouldn't be "dumping them," we'd be trading them for other players we need. We have sizable holes at 2B/SS and RF and could use a CF and possibly a 3B next year.
 
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LostinNJ

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Jul 19, 2005
479
Nick Pivetta is absolutely an asset on a mediocre team, which is nice because he's on a mediocre team.

But he deserves major props for his work in extra innings in the division series against the Rays last year.
 

grepal

New Member
Jul 20, 2005
193
Inconsistent is what comes to mind. A number 4 starter on a good team. He took the ball every time last year and that is worth alot.
 

GreenMonsterVsGodzilla

Member
SoSH Member
Bumping this because there’s been a lot of discussion in the Rumors thread about what we’ve got in Pivetta. And, well… what do we?

How real is his second half turnaround where he had 12.4 K/9, third among all starters? Is that a new normal? Or is it more likely he reverts to his career 9.8? What about his tendency to give up hard contact? Is he a reliable 200 inning guy, or one that can’t make it 2x through the order?

I keep seeing mention of a pitch change mid-season last year, but didn’t pay enough attention last season to understand it.

What says SOSH?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,409
Bumping this because there’s been a lot of discussion in the Rumors thread about what we’ve got in Pivetta. And, well… what do we?

How real is his second half turnaround where he had 12.4 K/9, third among all starters? Is that a new normal? Or is it more likely he reverts to his career 9.8? What about his tendency to give up hard contact? Is he a reliable 200 inning guy, or one that can’t make it 2x through the order?

I keep seeing mention of a pitch change mid-season last year, but didn’t pay enough attention last season to understand it.

What says SOSH?
If his K/9 is somewhere between his career 9.9 (which I guess includes his last season's second half?) and his 12.4 K/0 from last season's second half, that's a very good pitcher and it's kinda around where I'm expecting him (maybe 11 per 9?). That guy deserves an extension... needless here to add that he can likely throw 200 innings in a season and another 30+ in a post-season and then keep going. Someone needs to figure out how his arm is built.
Oh... and can someone change the thread title to "average or.... actually good?"
 

jbupstate

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2022
605
New York, USA
Second half Pivetta was definitely a player the Sox can use going forward. I like the fact that he was willing to make a change to get better.

How much would Pivetta receive right now if he was a free agent? $40m/3 seems like a great deal but I don’t know.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,130
I'd say the 2021-2022 version of Pivetta is also a guy they could use. I've been hoping for an extension for a while.

I don't think anything less than $15m/yr keeps him away from FA.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I'm very interested to see what benefit (if any) the arrival of Breslow and Bailey might bring to Pivetta. I fully expect that they aren't going to influence/"fix" EVERY pitcher in the system, but Pivetta is a guy who has shown periods of brilliance on several occasions at the major league level.
 

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
Dope
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2005
23,705
The gran facenda
Pivetta added to his pitches, and according to this article in The Athletic, he also changed his mindset after talks with Chris Martin.
In the 18 games he pitched starting on July 1 he went 5 or more innings 10 times. Out of those 18 games 8 were starts. The rest a combination of long relief and save opportunities.
In those starts he went 7.1, 5, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 7, and 7 IP. He lowered his ERA and FIP from 5.10 and 4.79 on 6/28 to 4.04 and 3.96 at the end of the season.

I really liked what I saw from him after the pen move. He's an innings eater in today's game and can also be effective in multiple roles. To me he should be extended once we see if all of that translates to the same type of pitcher for the first month or so of 2024.
From the NESN article on his pitch mix:
Over the course of the season, Pivetta has expanded his repertoire from his usual fastball-curveball combination. The righty added a horizontal aspect to his approach with the addition of a hard slider as well as a sweeper.

“I think a solid fourth pitch has helped me out,” Pivetta detailed. “I think I struggled with the changeup earlier on. Got a different slider with a little bit different velo to it. All in all, just commanding my pitches in general and attacking hitters has helped me move forward.”
From The Athletic article:
Pivetta begrudgingly moved to the bullpen on May 18 in San Diego, and despite his frustration, he used the shift as motivation, posting a 1.98 ERA and 36 percent strikeout rate over his next 17 appearances out of the pen. He finished the year with career bests in a 4.04 ERA and 30.7 percent strikeout rate.

“His strike-throwing was different when he went to the bullpen, he was more aggressive, more efficient, more quick outs,” manager Alex Cora said. “And the stuff got better. He made some adjustments mechanically, but I think it was more the mindset that helped him out. When I told him he was going to the bullpen, he didn’t like it, but the next day he came in, he’s like, ‘I’m ready. I’m going to the bullpen today and whatever you need, I’ll do.’”

Part of Pivetta’s resurgence can be traced back to veteran reliever Chris Martin, who helped Pivetta throughout the year with his mentality and plan of attack as a reliever. Martin was placed on the injured list on Friday with a viral infection, ending his season, but Pivetta was grateful for Martin’s guidance during a trying year at times.

“Whatever Chris told Nick, it changed his season. And maybe his career,” Cora said.

“I learned a lot from him,” Pivetta said of Martin, “ from the mental standpoint, the physical standpoint, he helped me out a lot this year. So it was really huge. I look forward to working on next year as well.”
You can see more about how he changed during the season on Baseball Savant.
 

flymrfreakjar

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 30, 2006
2,916
Brooklyn
There's been a lot of talk about this new sweeper-ish pitch that he added and how that has had a big impact. A month ago or so Merloni was saying a lot of people in the organization are excited about what he's going to be able to do this year because of that pitch— not sure how plugged in he is these days, but it sounded pretty genuine.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Pivetta added to his pitches, and according to this article in The Athletic, he also changed his mindset after talks with Chris Martin.
In the 18 games he pitched starting on July 1 he went 5 or more innings 10 times. Out of those 18 games 8 were starts. The rest a combination of long relief and save opportunities.
In those starts he went 7.1, 5, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 7, and 7 IP. He lowered his ERA and FIP from 5.10 and 4.79 on 6/28 to 4.04 and 3.96 at the end of the season.

I really liked what I saw from him after the pen move. He's an innings eater in today's game and can also be effective in multiple roles. To me he should be extended once we see if all of that translates to the same type of pitcher for the first month or so of 2024.
From the NESN article on his pitch mix:


From The Athletic article:

You can see more about how he changed during the season on Baseball Savant.
I have to admit that even though the team was in desperate need starting pitching I was very vocal about leaving Pivetta in the pen because he became so valuable there in terms of being able to give quality long relief. Heading into this season I hope to see him back in the rotation.
 

The_Dali

New Member
Jul 2, 2021
141
Bumping this thread because I find it very interesting how much of SoSH were down on Pivetta last year at this time- going so far as to call him flat-out a “well below average pitcher” - and now we have many calls for the Sox to extend him.

I’ve been a supporter of Pivetta, and he may be a player where the visual test told you he was better (potentially) than the numbers were showing.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
9,833
Kernersville, NC
Bumping this thread because I find it very interesting how much of SoSH were down on Pivetta last year at this time- going so far as to call him flat-out a “well below average pitcher” - and now we have many calls for the Sox to extend him.

I’ve been a supporter of Pivetta, and he may be a player where the visual test told you he was better (potentially) than the numbers were showing.
I don’t remember a lot of people being that down on Pivetta (well below average), but I could be wrong. The calls to extend him make sense to me. He’s fairly cheap for an average-ish pitcher who can throw a good amount of innings. We need depth and he provides that.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,409
Oh there was definitely a lot of Pivetta hate this time a year ago. It wasn’t totally deserved but it wasn’t unreasonable either. I just think the perspective of what a valuable MLB starting pitcher is. So many can’t throw more than 120 innings and ones that can aren’t very good and Pivetta was standing right on that fulcrum point.
I always liked him and defended him but with a clear understanding that he was at best a “league average starter” but a potential horse. What’s better….. having Chris Sale for 80 innings and Kyle Barraclough for 80 or a Nick Pivetta for 160?
 

LoLsapien

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 5, 2022
192
Pasting my post from the Tire Fire thread:

"Nick Pivetta, if he's able to carry over his performance from the second half of last year, would easily be the #1 pitcher we've been pining for. Every advanced metric on the Fangraphs second half season split were fantastic. 35 k percent, 5.37 k/bb, 0.96 WHIP, 2.8 xfip, you name it. Ace level good. BABIP was just 0.260 so maybe some luck there, but if the new pitching brain trust can work with this guy... I'm pumped to see this guy pitch."