- Dec 14, 2019
Pivetta pitches less than 5 1/2 innings per start. He's not saving the bullpen - he's preventing other, probably better, starters from starting.What exactly are they supposed to do with Pivetta? They're not just going to DFA him - he was worth 1.5 fWAR last year and led the team in IP. He's worth 2.5 according to BTV, so that gets you essentially a lottery ticket in a trade. Can you imagine the absolute vitriol that'd get spewed here when Sale/Paxton are pitching on a short leash through April, the bullpen is already taxed, and meanwhile Pivetta is humming along in the back of a rotation in San Diego or Milwaukee in exchange for a middling prospect in AA?
Even if he pitches the same as he's done in the 2 years he's been in Boston, that's still 165 IP of 96 ERA+ ball, which is essentially league average. How are you going to fill the innings he's projected to throw? Do you really think that Crawford (87 IP/4.71 ERA) and Winckowski (93 IP/4.65 ERA) will be that much better? The projections sure don't.
Baseball Reference may project Pivetta for a 4.36 ERA, but the average of the 6 Fangraphs projections is 4.72 for Pivetta, 4.61 for Crawford & 4.54 for Winckowski. They also don't need to be significantly better to be more valuable because they have options.
Are we really going to start Whitlock in the bullpen or Bello in the minors to let Pivetta pitch if Sale & Paxton are ready to go to start the season?
Here are all the Red Sox starting options on BR's Marcel projections that you cited...
Even citing BR where he's 7th of 9 instead of 12th of 12 like on Fangraphs, there is still an opportunity cost to starting him in the rotation (assuming health & that he has not somehow become a significantly better pitcher in the off season).