Phillies

Phillies GM Matt Klentak explains timing of Nick Pivetta demotion

Phillies GM Matt Klentak explains timing of Nick Pivetta demotion

Nick Pivetta, who entered the season with huge expectations, has been optioned to Triple A as the Phillies shuffle their roster.

Pivetta has not pitched well this season, posting an 8.35 ERA and .383 opponents’ batting average through four starts. On Tuesday night, he was spotted a 10-run lead by the Phillies but still had trouble, allowing two or more baserunners in all but one of his five innings and needing 100 pitches to make it through.

Jerad Eickhoff followed with four shutout innings that gave him the inside track to replacing Pivetta, at least in the short term.

Pivetta will head to the minors and try to recapture the command he had last April and May, when he missed bats with a mid-90s fastball and kept hitters off balance with an effective slider and curveball.

"Nick has all the ingredients to be a top-of-the-line major-league starter. Everyone in this organization still believes he's gonna do it and frankly, we believe he's going to do it this year," GM Matt Klentak said Wednesday morning. "But after four-plus starts, we needed to get him into an environment where he can get his confidence back.

"Jerad's had a pretty long road back, injuries and setbacks. There's no harder worker, nobody who's been a better teammate. To see what he has done in spring training, the early parts of April and last night is phenomenal. Jerad's earned the chance to get back in the rotation."

Today, the move allows the Phillies to bring up infielder Phil Gosselin, who will provide infield depth with Jean Segura dealing with a left hamstring issue that is not believed to be serious.

To make room for Gosselin on the 40-man roster, the Phillies transferred Tommy Hunter (flexor strain) to the 60-day IL.

Eickhoff will start for the Phillies Sunday at Coors Field.

"Every game matters right now," Klentak said. "We've played 16 games and we've all seen how competitive these games are going to be. The difference in the game might be one pitch or a defensive play, a key at-bat. This is going to be a dogfight all year for us, the whole division is going to be that way.

"And performance matters. In Nick's case, I believe his fastball, the depth on his breaking ball, what he can do on the mound gives him a chance to be a front-of-the-rotation starter. But he needs to get them out, too. And I think he will.

"He's not the first young pitcher to tease you with promise and struggle to capture that on a consistent basis early in his career. Most pitchers go through something like this. Sometimes development is not a perfectly straight line."

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The Phillie Phanatic was surprisingly good at 'Pictionary' on MLB Network

The Phillie Phanatic was surprisingly good at 'Pictionary' on MLB Network

The Phillies may not have played a game yesterday due to the weather down in Washington but that didn't stop the Phanatic from getting his game on.

The big green fella was a guest on MLB Network to play "Central Scribbles" which is basically Pictionary.

He teamed up with Ken Rosenthal and Lauren Shehadi to try and come up with players associated with the National League East. Some names were much more challenging than others. Spoiler: Nobody was able to get Adam Eaton.

You can watch and enjoy the Phanatic's artistic skills in the below video.

Phillies and Nationals postponed for second straight night

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USA Today Images

Phillies and Nationals postponed for second straight night

Here we go again.

After a rain delay of about two hours, the Phillies and Nationals have been rained out for a second straight night. Tonight’s game will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Sept. 24.

After nearly three hours of waiting on Monday, the series opener was postponed and scheduled to be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Wednesday (1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.), but Tuesday’s postponement will cause even more issues for both teams.

Different from Monday, there was steady rain falling throughout the night and, perhaps, with a day game on Wednesday, it got too late to give this one a go. The Phillies have announced that Zach Eflin will start game one and Jake Arrieta will start game two. It appears Patrick Corbin will try again for Washington, however the Nationals may be searching for a second starter after a freak accident during batting practice resulted in a broken nose for their ace, Max Scherzer, whose status is TBD. (see video)

While a doubleheader is difficult from a pitching standpoint, the Phillies will welcome two extra days for J.T. Realmuto and Jay Bruce to mend. Not in the posted lineup for either of the games that were postponed due to rain, Gabe Kapler did indicate that Realmuto would start one game on Wednesday and Bruce was available to pinch hit on Tuesday if needed.

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