Nick Pivetta Will Make Next Start For Red Sox Despite Ugly Outing Vs. Braves

Pivetta has a 6.23 ERA in seven starts


May 10, 2023

Alex Cora was quick to shut down the Red Sox fans who were calling for Nick Pivetta to get sent to the bullpen after Tuesday’s outing.

Of course, the Boston manager wasn’t reading Twitter during the 9-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park, but he’s giving Pivetta another chance to start after the right-hander gave up seven earned runs.

Cora laid out his starters for the next seven games, which includes a six-man rotation for at least one turn through the starters. Brayan Bello will start Wednesday, followed by James Paxton, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Tanner Houck and Pivetta before going back to Bello.

Pivetta’s 6.23 ERA and underlying metrics certainly don’t jump off the page in a good way, but Cora is making the right decision to not send Pivetta to the bullpen right now. There’s no telling how Paxton will perform in his first Major League Baseball start since 2021 or how Garrett Whitlock will bounce back from an elbow injury that landed him on the injured list.

For now, the Red Sox shouldn’t rush to send Pivetta to the ‘pen. It’s only May 9 and, if history repeats itself, Pivetta could be due for a strong stretch like the one he enjoyed last year from May to June when he went 8-1 in 10 starts with a 1.85 ERA. Is Pivetta on thin ice? Probably. And if he doesn’t bounce back Tuesday then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Red Sox move him in with the relievers.

The Red Sox will have seven starters once everyone is healthy. It’s a good problem to have, but it means someone will be left out of the rotation and Pivetta could be that person if he can’t turn things around. Putting Bello in the bullpen probably would hinder his development as a starter. It’s his first full MLB season and he’s only 23 years old, and the club seems committed to keeping Whitlock in the rotation.

Pivetta has been reliable for the Red Sox and led the team in starts and innings pitched last year. But with the logjam Boston has, he could be looking at a new role with the team sooner rather than later, especially given the fact that he hasn’t given the Sox a lot to work with in terms of long starts.

For now, though, it’s best to keep him in the rotation and on his normal schedule should another injury occur or Paxton really struggles in his season debut, though Cora plans to stretch him out.

The Red Sox try to get back in the win column Wednesday when they wrap up their quick two-game series with the Braves. First pitch from Truist Park is set for 7:20 p.m. ET on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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