More Sports:

May 12, 2021

Recent former Phillies are having success with other teams — what else is new?

There's no way to know for sure if the Phillies would be getting the same kind of production from former pitching prospect Nick Pivetta that the Red Sox are currently getting.

The pressure may have been getting to him — it's hard to pitch in Philly. In four seasons in Philadelphia, the fourth round pick had a 5.50 ERA in 396.1 innings with a 19-30 record. It seemed like every spring, stories were being written about him being on the verge of breaking through, but he never did. He was out of chances.

But like so many Phillies prospects before him, Pivetta went to greener pastures and was able to perform. In fact, a handful of the players that Dave Dombrowski and company elected not to bring back for 2021 have been playing pretty well in their new homes.

We'll start with Pivetta:

Nick Pivetta, Red Sox

Pivetta's struggles were well documented, and the former regime led by Matt Klentak sent him to Boston in a trade last season meant to help bolster the bullpen (it didn't). He went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA late in 2020, which easily could have been a blip.

However, he's proved so far in 2021 that it indeed was not. Through seven starts for the Red Sox, Pivetta is a perfect 5-0 and has a 3.19 ERA. Those numbers could be inflated — his control is lacking and he somehow has not paid the price for leading the AL in walks issued with 22. But he's made it work.

Would Pivetta have been a more desirable fifth starter than Matt Moore, Chase Anderson or Vince Velasquez? The hindsight game is in full play here, but it is extremely unlikely Pivetta would have pitched better in Philly without the change of scenery.

Ironically enough, the Red Sox come to town in a few weeks. Will Pivetta get his revenge? Or will he have PTSD from his prior experiences on the mound in South Philly?

Cole Irvin, Athletics

Remember Cole Irvin? He was an out of the blue, mid-level prospect who burst onto the scene with a spectacular debut in 2019 — and then, well, didn't do much else. In 45.1 innings for the Phillies over two seasons, the fifth round pick had a 6.75 ERA. But a change of scenery for him, like Pivetta, looks like it worked. He's started seven games in Oakland and has a respectable 3.29 ERA so far.

Phil Gosselin, Angels

Gosselin was a bit of a fan favorite during his time in Philly, a Malvern Prep alum. The jack of all trades was decent with the bat as a utility player during the shortened 2020 campaign and had a few very clutch hits. He's since moved on and has been hitting well to start the year in Los Angeles, batting .304 while playing third base and DH for the Angels. The Phillies would love to have him and the depth he provides.

Kyle Garlick, Twins

The Phillies decided they had enough outfielders and let Garlick go after he was nothing special last season, and he's proved them wrong so far mashing the ball in Minnesota. In 18 games so far, he is hitting .295 and showing off his gun for an arm in the field.

David Phelps, Blue Jays

Phelps was one of the main malfunctioning pieces of the Phillies' historically-bad bullpen last year and it made complete sense to send him walking. However, he's dug himself out of the slump and has a minuscule 0.87 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched in relief so far. It begs the question, just how unlucky are the Phillies when it comes to the bullpen?

Jake Arrieta, Cubs

It's not all sunshine and lollipops for the former Phillies from a season ago. Philadelphia decided not to overpay Arrieta and declined his team option for 2021, so he went back to his old team in Chicago. Arrieta has gone 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA so far and is working through a minor injury that cost him a few starts. It sounds exactly like his time in Philly.

Jay Bruce, Yankees

Letting their slugging DH walk — particularly with no DH in the NL this year — was a smart move for the Phils. Bruce hit .118 with just one home run for the Yankees before retiring weeks into the 2021 season.

Some of the other bullpen arms the Phillies had last year...

Doelis Guerra, Athletics: 1-0, 3.21 ERA in 14 IP

Tommy Hunter, Mets: 0 ER in 4 IP

Heath Hembree, Reds: 0 ER in 6.2 IP

Brandon Workman, Cubs: 0-2, 6.75 ERA in 8 IP

Blake Parker, Austin Davis, Adam Morgan, Reggie McLain, Trevor Kelley: No MLB innings so far

Some links provided in this content are sponsored by Pickswise, a Sports Betting Partner, independently created by PhillyVoice. 21+ Please gamble responsibly. 

Follow Evan on Twitter: @evan_macy

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports