Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.
Despite the Phillies’ current seven-game losing streak and 6-16 record since May 30, manager Gabe Kapler isn’t going anywhere. Prior to Monday’s series opener against the Mets, GM Matt Klentak gave Kapler a vote of confidence, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports.
Klentak said, “Gabe Kapler is our manager. Our staff is our staff.” He continued, “I’ve been a part of organizations that have made in-season staff changes before. You have to believe that if you’re going to do that that your alternative is better than your status quo. And I believe in our guys. The key to this group succeeding is this group coming together and doing it as a unit. Players, coaches, manager, front office, and believing in each other.”
The Phillies haven’t been performing well for nearly a month now, but the club has also been hobbled by injuries. The injured list currently features Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Victor Arano, Pat Neshek, Jerad Eickhoff, Adam Haseley, and Seranthony Domínguez. Odúbel Herrera also remains on the restricted list having been arrested for a domestic violence incident. Seeing Kapler canned might be cathartic for frustrated fans, but it won’t help get anyone back from the injured list.