Rainout pushes back big league debut for Canadian pitcher Pivetta

Rainout pushes back big league debut for Phils' Pivetta

PHILADELPHIA — Canadian Nick Pivetta was set to make his big league debut. Then rain got in the way.

Philadelphia planned to start the 24-year-old right-hander on Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins. But a rainout Tuesday means Pivetta likely will make his first major league appearance Sunday at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I achieved my goal of getting here eventually,” Pivetta said in the Phillies clubhouse. “I am happy to be here, happy to be part of this team and help them win. I want to get my feet on solid ground right now and just take it one step at a time.”

Vince Velasquez was pushed back to Wednesday. Pivetta appears set to take the rotation slot of Aaron Nola, who went on the disabled list because of a lower back injury.

Pivetta, a native of Victoria, was acquired in July 2013 from Washington in the trade that sent closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals. A fourth-round pick in 2013, Pivetta is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, striking out 24 and walking two in 19 innings.

“I just think it’s my fastball,” Pivetta said of his success. “Getting ahead of guys. Not walking guys. Just giving my team the best chance I can to win down there, and I’m just going to continue doing the same thing when I am up here.”

Pivetta is among many pitching prospects hoping to make an impact with the Phillies.

“We saw him a little bit in the spring. I liked him,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “I’m anxious to see all of the guys. The one thing we haven’t had in the past is some inventory for things like this. We saw (Zach) Eflin come up. Hopefully, we have a few others.”

Eflin was called up after Clay Buchholz’s season-ending forearm injury and has a 2.25 ERA in two starts.

Pivetta has not been added to the Phillies’ roster, so he likely will head back to Lehigh Valley until the weekend.

“I did not expect to be here this early,” he said. “I am happy to be here right now. I’ll see how long I stay and just have fun while I am here.”


Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas would have been available to play in Tuesday night’s game. The utility infielder left Saturday night’s game in San Diego with tightness in his legs and didn’t play on Sunday.

Phillies: OF Howie Kendrick is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, but an oblique strain will keep him sidelined longer. Ty Kelly, acquired from Toronto on Saturday, fills the roster spot for now. Kelly, who can play every position except pitcher and catcher, started the season with the New York Mets.


Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 3.94) is scheduled to start Wednesday night for the first time since not allowing a hit in seven scoreless innings last Tuesday at Seattle. Chen was removed by manager Don Mattingly after 100 pitches.

Phillies: Velasquez (0-2, 7.20) has gone 12 starts without a win and will be vying for his first victory since last July 8.

The Associated Press

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