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Nick Pivetta 2019 Outlook

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25 year old righty, made 32 starts in 2018. Had a K/9 over 10 and a BB/9 under 3 . He had the 13th highest K/9 in the league (among guys with 160+ IP) an 23rd best K/BB. His final #'s were incredibly inflated by couple poor starts. Against the Nationals he pitched 9 innings, gave up 15 ER and 6 HR. Cherry picking those #'s out would have given him a 4.18 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9. Guy has a good fastball (95-96). Primarily mixes in a sinker, curve, and slider. He won't cost you anything. He's a big righty who racks up good K #'s and doesn't issue free passes. 


My 2019 expectation is more like 30 starts, 4.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, K/9 around 9.5. 

 

He's a guy I'd make sure to add late in all my drafts. Never know when a live arm figures it out (especially one that works in the zone). 

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I owned him stubbornly all year, and don't think it's that simple.  He has a few challenges:
HR/9: 1.32 after 1.69 the prior year. Those are both really high, and he's in a HR-prone park. 

September: 20/10 K/BB ratio, by far his worst of the year. He really wore down. Along those same lines, he only averaged 5.1 IP per start.  Hard to take the next step.

Velocity: I like his FB at 95, but his change at 88 is too fast.

 

Basically, I see him as a guy with good stuff but marginal command, making him too hittable. Those kind of pitchers can take a big leap forwards, or can just bounce around for a while.  Unless he gets those HR under control, he will have a hard time keeping his ERA much below 4.50.

 

Haven't decided yet whether to keep him or drop him at $4 in my NL-only.

 

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Also an owner of Pivetta last year.  He was quite good the first month or so, but then fell off.  Like the poster above noted, he does not pitch long into games because of how high his pitch counts got.  Found him very frustrating to own before dealing him to another GM.  He looks to be a good source of K's but at the expense of a higher ERA and WHIP.  Unless there is a report that his control has improved and he looks very strong in the spring, he is nothing more than a late inning flier, imo.

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He's someone to monitor. Plenty of risk but he's someone who has real breakout potential and could be similar to robbie ray I'm 2017.

 

Phillies defense gets a big upgrade with Segura at ss and Hoskins out of the of.

 

I'm on board 

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Some podcast I listened to recently had a solid rant about people listing Nick Pivetta as a sleeper. He's not a sleeper if he's going top 150  or less and he's on every sleepers list.

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So whats the big difference between him and Pineda? Other than one is coming back from TJ?

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I owned him last year too. He should get a decent W boost with the improved bullpen and better defense. They were terrible team defense. Still can't justify taking him in top 150.

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I can't find a video anywhere, but mlb network had a breakdown of a few pitchers with different delivery slots vs the launch angle philosophy. Pivetta is over the top and pitches down in the zone; right into most bat paths. I thought it was an interesting bit.

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I'm with most people in here.  I was a huge Pivetta fan last year.  Held on to him despite the struggles but I have a feeling I'm out in most leagues this year.  Just going too high for someone who was inconsistent last year.

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The ingredients for a big-time breakout season are here: Big Ks, Low Walks, Better defense; more experience; better pitch mix.

 

It's all going to come down to how Pivetta manages the long-ball. If he can make major gains there, hes a possible fantasy ace.

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3 hours ago, NoHablaIngles said:

The ingredients for a big-time breakout season are here: Big Ks, Low Walks, Better defense; more experience; better pitch mix.

 

It's all going to come down to how Pivetta manages the long-ball. If he can make major gains there, hes a possible fantasy ace.

 

I could be wrong, but I just don’t see it. 

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This guy has a little Robbie Ray in him.  They have some differences like BBs, but both have swing and miss stuff that racks up tons of Ks. The problem is they both get hit hard.  2 Years ago Ray had a season where things broke right.  Last year they reverted back to normal.  Pivetta could do the same but I wouldn't expect it.  The stuff is there, but the consistency isn't.  I'm in if he's on the board as a value, or if his Ks are something I need. 

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7 hours ago, dicka24 said:

This guy has a little Robbie Ray in him.  They have some differences like BBs, but both have swing and miss stuff that racks up tons of Ks. The problem is they both get hit hard.  2 Years ago Ray had a season where things broke right.  Last year they reverted back to normal.  Pivetta could do the same but I wouldn't expect it.  The stuff is there, but the consistency isn't.  I'm in if he's on the board as a value, or if his Ks are something I need. 

 

I like him better than Ray. Pivetta actually has an above average hard contact %. The problem is that his defense was absolutely awful and made him give up more hits than he should have. 

 

The homeruns are the really kicker with Pivetta. Citizens Bank Park doesnt help but he can be a legit ace if he figures out that homerun problem. Pivetta was the 6th best NL SP according to xFIP and SIERA. 

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Ray has a high Hard% because of iffy command/control. Where Pivetta gets destroyed in behind way because:  Ray is more willing to throw his best pitch (Slider) behind, more willing to give up a walk then throw one down the pipe. Ray has a better overall 3 pitch mix.

 

Pivetta: 12% Curve vs RHH and 16% Curve vs LHH 

Ray:  19% Slider vs RHH and 26% Slider vs LHH

 

Ray Behind (17%) .212 BA  152 ISO

Ray Ahead (37%)  .180 BA  112 ISO

 

Pivetta Behind (15%)  .365 BA  .260 ISO

Pivetta Ahead  (40%)  .177 BA  .105 ISO

 

They end up with similar OBPs behind because Ray walks a crap ton, but he still still fairly un-hittable, even when behind.  You really gonna blame the defense on the 9 HRs and 21 XBH Pivetta gave up, while Ray only gave up 6 HRs and 8 XBH in the same situation?  Everyone is worse when behind, but when comparing the 2. The problems are different.

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I have mixed feelings on him. Owned him for half the season last year, his FIP-ERA gap had me sticking with him and trusting the process. I eventually cut bait on him. 

 

Regardless, last year was a big growth year for him, his xERA improved from 4.91 to 3.53, outstanding improvement despite his ERA only improving 5.22 to 4.77, so there a hidden gains that don't show on the surface. 

 

He improved his walks from 3.2 per 9 to 2.8, while improving his Ks from 9.4 to 10.3, boosting his K/BB ratio from 2.9 to 3.7, if you can hit 4 that's really good and he did hit 4 in the 1H.

 

His first pitch strikes improved from 59% to 63% and his swinging strikes improved from 9% to 13% as a grip change on his curve transformed it to devastating. 

 

Even with his flaws and shortfalls, I think his 4.77 ERA is just way too high. If he can make further improvements others have mentioned with command and consistency,  he can be one of those guys that seemingly has a very good year "out of no where".

 

He's a late round target of mine due to his gains last year, talent, high K performance. Lots of upside here... but he could also continue to tease you then blow up your ratios if he doesn't make necessary improvements. 

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15 hours ago, NoHablaIngles said:

 

I like him better than Ray. Pivetta actually has an above average hard contact %. The problem is that his defense was absolutely awful and made him give up more hits than he should have. 

 

The homeruns are the really kicker with Pivetta. Citizens Bank Park doesnt help but he can be a legit ace if he figures out that homerun problem. Pivetta was the 6th best NL SP according to xFIP and SIERA. 

This. I watched so many games last year where the defense let these weak little dribbling balls get through as hits or errors when the inning should have ended. Maybe not the reason for all his troubles but that defense was truly terrible.

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2 minutes ago, ktierne3 said:

This. I watched so many games last year where the defense let these weak little dribbling balls get through as hits or errors when the inning should have ended. Maybe not the reason for all his troubles but that defense was truly terrible.

Well if they sign Machado and let him play SS it might get even worse :lol:

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5 hours ago, Slatykamora said:

Ray has a high Hard% because of iffy command/control. Where Pivetta gets destroyed in behind way because:  Ray is more willing to throw his best pitch (Slider) behind, more willing to give up a walk then throw one down the pipe. Ray has a better overall 3 pitch mix.

 

Pivetta: 12% Curve vs RHH and 16% Curve vs LHH 

Ray:  19% Slider vs RHH and 26% Slider vs LHH

 

Ray Behind (17%) .212 BA  152 ISO

Ray Ahead (37%)  .180 BA  112 ISO

 

Pivetta Behind (15%)  .365 BA  .260 ISO

Pivetta Ahead  (40%)  .177 BA  .105 ISO

 

They end up with similar OBPs behind because Ray walks a crap ton, but he still still fairly un-hittable, even when behind.  You really gonna blame the defense on the 9 HRs and 21 XBH Pivetta gave up, while Ray only gave up 6 HRs and 8 XBH in the same situation?  Everyone is worse when behind, but when comparing the 2. The problems are different.

 

Im having a hard time following this argument. Ray's hard hit % is higher cuz he falls behind... but ray is willing to throw more breaking stuff when behind? Wouldnt that make him harder to hit? And even if we accept your argument; isnt there an easy adjustment for Pivetta: throw his curveball more (which had a better pitch value than any of ray's pitches)? 

 

And here's the thing... falling behind is not a good thing. Pivetta is good at limiting walks. Ray is not. Why are we cherrypicking this weird data set?

 

My stance is Pivetta is that he is an elite strikeout/walk pitcher with a homerun problem. Part of the homerun problem is due to an unforgiving home park. If he can make even modest gains in this area, hes a very solid pitcher. 

 

I dont see any evidence that his pitches get murdered to suggest a super high babip is legit. Im attributing that to his defense. Pivetta has an avg exit velo of 87.3 mph, which is quite good. And he induces a good number of groundballs. A better defense behind him will help immensely 

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You must be inferencing things. Where did i say Ray is better? I said his stuff is better and hes a better pitcher when behind in the count.

 

People kept making the comp, i was laying out the differences. My arguement is the comp doesnt make sense. They have different problems.

 

Poor command means ray throws cookies in all counts. Pivetta doesn't as bad, but hes entirely predictable when behind and keeps his best pitch in his pocket. Is that hard to grasp?

 

Not once did i make an opinion who is the better pitcher overall.

Edited by Slatykamora

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8 hours ago, Slatykamora said:

You must be inferencing things. Where did i say Ray is better? I said his stuff is better and hes a better pitcher when behind in the count.

 

People kept making the comp, i was laying out the differences. My arguement is the comp doesnt make sense. They have different problems.

 

Poor command means ray throws cookies in all counts. Pivetta doesn't as bad, but hes entirely predictable when behind and keeps his best pitch in his pocket. Is that hard to grasp?

 

Not once did i make an opinion who is the better pitcher overall.

 

Now, to address your questions... where did i state that you said that Ray was better? Please read my comment closer: I dont understand what the point of your post was. It was just weirdly cherrypicked stats that didnt add value in my opinion. 

 

And again, your point on the poor command is very confusing. It's also speculative. Where are the facts?

 

Poor command means ray throws cookies? I still dont understand this point; thats not necessarily true... how does it make him more hittable? If he has poor command... isnt that alone sufficient to lead to more walks? 


If Pivetta's issue is being predictable, dont you think theres an easy adjustment in pitch sequencing and mix for him to improve this year?

 

 

 

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There are a lot of concerns here about his innings pitched, but I'm not too concerned. I think a lot of that was preserving him. Entering his 3rd full year and his age 26 season, they will be more comfortable unleashing him deeper into games.

 

He has the obvious concerns, HR and walks. While he was still very weak at both of those in 2018, he still improved in both areas from 2017. Can he provide similar improvement this year, or will he revert back to 2017? I think at his current ranking (around 150), he is worth the gamble to see if he can steadily improve.

 

Only 18 pitchers had 200 K last year. Pivetta has a legitimate shot at that this year. 

 

Yahoo has him as SP #36. At that price, I'll gladly take the chance on him. 

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On 1/27/2019 at 8:48 PM, NoHablaIngles said:

 

Now, to address your questions... where did i state that you said that Ray was better? Please read my comment closer: I dont understand what the point of your post was. It was just weirdly cherrypicked stats that didnt add value in my opinion. 

 

And again, your point on the poor command is very confusing. It's also speculative. Where are the facts?

 

Poor command means ray throws cookies? I still dont understand this point; thats not necessarily true... how does it make him more hittable? If he has poor command... isnt that alone sufficient to lead to more walks? 


If Pivetta's issue is being predictable, dont you think theres an easy adjustment in pitch sequencing and mix for him to improve this year?

 

 

 

If you cant locate. You sometimes accicently leaving balls down the middle of the plate. That is what poor command means. Don't confuse that with control(throwing strikes) I confirmed this with heat maps and pitch mix when behind before posting. So i'm not just pulling this out of thin air that Pivetta is predictable when behind.

 

The numbers back up what i saw with the pitch mix and heat maps. I'm not drawing conclusions based on the numbers, the numbers simply support what i saw. How can something be cherry picked when its the only data point relevant in what i'm saying?

 

You don't think its at all relevant that Pivetta is rarely to throw his best pitch for strikes when behind? He's still going to find himself behind 15% of the time. Even the best command/control guys still need to have a good gameplan for falling behind.

Edited by Slatykamora
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Ill take your word for it and appreciate the research but dont you think there is an easy fix there?

 

We've seen what pitch mix and pitch sequencing adjustments can do for tons of pitchers. Gerrit cole went from a forgettable guy to a legit Cy Young contender with this simple adjustment. And I dont think Cole is known for having the greatest command in the world either. The beauty about pivetta is that he doesnt walk many batters, if he trys to nibble more and trades homeruns for walks, then thats a happy trade-off.

Edited by NoHablaIngles
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Maybe he should just learn a cutter so lefties don't sit on and tee off his straight fastball.

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