Phillies' Nick Pivetta: Early frontrunner for back-end rotation spot
Montemurro lists Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez (finger) as the likely rotation locks, leaving Pivetta to vie with Mark Leiter, Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin (shoulder) and any veteran free agent the club may sign for back-end slotting. After riding a mid-90s fastball to a 9.5 K/9 rate over 133 innings in the big leagues as a rookie, Pivetta seemingly offers more fantasy upside than the arms he's competing with, though issues with walks and home runs could make him an ERA and WHIP sinkhole, as was the case in 2017. If Pivetta can show some improvement with keeping the ball in the yard and getting through innings more efficiently in his Grapefruit League outings, he should come away with a starting gig.
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