Nick Pivetta takes pride in being a student of the game.
Even when he was growing up, Pivetta would find himself focusing on things such as a pitcher’s release to how each one had its different intricacies. Now, the 23-year-old finds himself among the Phillies’ prized crop of hurlers.
Pivetta was acquired in the Jonathan Papelbon deal from Washington. Before joining the Phillies organization, Pivetta never really had that breakout season, only making two appearances in Double-A where he was shelled for 12 earned runs in 15 innings.
That’s behind him, though, as he embarks on his second full season in the organization after finally having a season to remember.
“Last year was one of my more successful seasons everything kind of came together,” Pivetta said. “I always trying to stay humble and improve as human being and a pitcher.”
The right-hander went 11-6 in Double-AA Reading before making five starts in Triple-AAA Lehigh Valley where he kept his ERA at a respectable 2.55. His goal now is to “work on my consistency” and improve his command. Altogether last year, Pivetta walked 51 batters, which is hardly a blemish on his stellar season but is something that will provide just enough of a push to improve upon.
Perhaps the reason for Pivetta’s ascension within the Phillies organization is his willingness to not only study other pitchers around the league, but to make it a habit of watching himself.
Pivetta spent the postseason studying guys like Chicago’s Jake Arrieta, who is someone he has grown very fond of over the years and someone he sees similarities in with his game.
“I think just sitting back, relaxing looking at video looking at how you attack video and your mechanics, really going back to what you could have done different and going back on the learning situations you had over the year,” Pivetta explained.
Phillies fans will appreciate his ultimate idol. Being a Canadian (and of course a hockey-loving Vancouver Canucks fan), Pivetta found himself watching as many Roy Halladay starts as he possibly could. Pivetta said he would get out of school around 3 p.m. and bolt home to get back in time for the 4 p.m. Blue Jays games.
“He will be one player I will always remember for the rest of my life,” Pivetta said.
Now there’s still a long way to go for Pivetta, but he’s clearly heading in the right direction as the organization added him to their 40-man roster this offseason, a move that signals how strongly they view him. Had he not been put on the roster, another team could have drafted him in the Rule 5 process.
The Phillies didn’t want to miss out on this kid, especially one that has big aspirations of being the next Roy Halladay for his country.
“I am focused on myself and doing a better job and being a better person and a better teammate and put myself in position to get better,” Pivetta said.