Nicholas Johncarlo Pivetta
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 220 lb.
- School New Mexico Junior College
- High School Lambrick Park Secondary School
- Debut April 30, 2017
Pitcher Nick Pivetta was a 4th-round selection by the Washington Nationals in the 2013 amateur draft, out of a junior college in New Mexico. The scout was Mitch Sokol. However, Pivetta is a native of Victoria, BC and went to high school there. He was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team that took part in the 2010 World Junior Championship in Thunder Bay, ON, a team that finished fourth as the host nation of the tournament. He had one save in three games, allowing two runs (one earned) in 3 1/3 IP and striking out four.
The Canadian youngster was assigned to the GCL Nationals to begin his career and also pitched for the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League that first season, going 1-1, 2.91 in 9 games. He spent 2014 with the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League where he made 26 appearances, 25 as a starter, pitching 132 1/3 innings. His record was 13-8, 4.22. He tied A.J. Cole for the most wins in the Nationals chain. He was third in the SAL in wins, behind Antonio Senzatela and Johendi Jiminian.
In 2015, he began the year in the Carolina League, going 7-4, 2.29 in 15 games for the Potomac Nationals. On July 10th, he was promoted to the Harrisburg Senators of the AA Eastern League. He went 0-2, 7.20 in his first three starts before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 28th in return for closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Pivetta made his major league debut for the Phillies in April of 2017 and remained in the starting rotation for the rest of the season, making 26 starts with a record of 8-10, 6.02. He allowed 144 hits in 130 innings, but also struck out 140 batters. He was back in the starting rotation in 2018, but the Phillies were now competitive, and more was expected of him. On June 29th, he was chased from a game early, allowing 7 runs in 1 2/3 innings in a start against the Washington Nationals, being saddled with a 17-7 loss that left him with a record of 4-7. However, two days later, on Canada Day, he got a measure of redemption, as he volunteered to go to the bullpen as the Phils' game against the Nats moved deep into extra innings. He was brought in to pitch the 13th and gave manager Gabe Kapler a scoreless inning with the score tied at 3. His turn to bat came up in the bottom of the inning and Kapler took a gamble, sending back-up C Andrew Knapp to pinch-hit for him, knowing full well he had no more pitchers left and would have to ask a position player to pitch if Philadelphia failed to score. However, Knapp came through with a walk-off homer and Pivetta was a winner in what was the first relief appearance of his big league career. He ended the season at 7-14, 4.77 with 188 strikeouts in 164 games, but his inability to put up a better record in spite of pitching in front of a decent team was a concern.
In 2019, he took a step backwards, losing his spot in the starting rotation as he finished at 4-6, 5.38 in 30 games. He made 13 starts before being banished to a role as a long reliever. He continued to post good strikeout numbers, with 89 in 93 2/3 innings, but otherwise, his lack of improvement was a head-scratcher as there did not seem to be anything physically wrong with him. In 2020, with the Phils hoping to contend for a division title, he had become an afterthought, seeing little work from the back of the bullpen. Over the team's first 20 games, he appeared only 3 times, but gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, part of a bullpen that was a collective disaster. It was clear he needed a change of scenery and on August 21st he was sent to the Boston Red Sox along with prospect Connor Seabold in return for two experienced relievers in Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman. He was now joining a team in desperate need of starting pitching.
He did turn things around after joining the BoSox. On June 24, 2021, Pivetta threw 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Tampa Bay Rays, he was pulled from the game after throwing more than 100 pitches, unable to complete the no-hitter. He was relieved by Josh Taylor. The Red Sox would eventually lose the no-hitter and the game.