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A short leash: Nick Pivetta optioned out of rotation

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The struggling Phillies starter is the target of the team’s first dramatic move of the season.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Surprising only because of how swift the move is, the Phillies have optioned Nick Pivetta after his start last night against the Mets. His spot in the rotation will be taken by Jerad Eickhoff.

Pivetta continued his downward trend last night, despite the Phillies’ 14-3 victory over the Mets. Through four starts this season, Pivetta hadn’t made a start longer than five innings, and came out of yesterday’s game sporting a pathetic 8.35 ERA, coupled by unimpressive strikeout numbers.

In fairness, Eickhoff didn’t exactly get off to the hottest start in Lehigh Valley either, but, he’s healthy, and earned his spot in this Phillies rotation long ago.

While Pivetta’s stint in the minors will surely not be permanent, it is disheartening to see the Phillies act so swiftly against a player with so much potential. However, it is likely that there will be quite a bit of rotation shuffling going on as the season transpires.

Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin will continue to vie for their permanence in the rotation, while Enyel De Los Santos remains dominant in Triple-A, and Pivetta may figure it out yet.

Many Phillie fans were pulling for Nick Pivetta, and, while it is sad to see him go, it’s important to remember that this is exactly what he needs. The mounting pressure has subsided, and he can finally shift his focus to honing in his control, and learning to command his plus pitches.

Meanwhile, I’m sure we’re all excited to see what a healthy Jerad Eickhoff can bring to this team. His wicked curveball and excellent fastball location will play quite the important role in his success, and, if he’s maintained any semblance of his 2016 season, the Phillies could have quite a talent on their hands.