The Phillies have not had the best luck with their starting rotation to begin the season. The staff has pitched themselves to a 5.10 ERA through 16 games, which is 22nd best in Major League Baseball. They’ve also allowed the seventh most home runs in the league and the opposition is hitting .276 off of them, 27th in MLB.
Nick Pivetta entered the 2019 campaign with many believing he was poised for a breakout season. It hasn’t turned out that way yet as the 26-year-old native of British Columbia has allowed 17 earned runs in 18.1 innings pitched, good for an ERA of 8.35. His strikeouts are down as well, getting just 16 outs that way. On Tuesday night, Pivetta held it together for four innings against the Mets, allowing three runs in five innings of work, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the rotation.
On Wednesday morning, the Phillies announced that Pivetta was been optioned to Triple-A. Jerad Eickhoff will take his spot in the rotation. Meanwhile, infielder Phil Gosselin takes Pivetta’s roster spot.
You would have thought the Phillies would show a little more patience with Pivetta, but it looks like they want him to go down to Lehigh Valley to get things right and give Jerad Eickhoff an opportunity to start. Eickhoff returns to the rotation after dealing with numbness in his fingers for a chunk of the offseason following carpal tunnel surgery. The 28-year-old joined the Phillies this week and pitched four innings of relief behind Pivetta, allowing just three hits while striking out six. Per WIP’s Jack Fritz, Eickhoff garnered 11 swings and misses on his 59 pitches thrown.
Eickhoff’s next turn in the rotation will come against the Rockies at Coors Field, so he’ll have to be sharp and limit the long ball in order to remain effective. Eickhoff started two games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, allowing five earned runs in 10 innings of work.
Phil Gosselin joins the Phillies bench from Triple-A, where he slashed .419/.538/.516 in 10 games. He can play multiple positions in the infield.