The newest member of the Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation will make his club debut in Sunday's series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, according to Manager Gabe Kapler.
While most expected Smlyly to replace Vince Velasquez in the starting rotation, he instead will replace Pivetta, who will be available out of the bullpen starting in Friday's three-game road series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Smyly's Sunday appearance and overall deal is still pending a physical, according to Kapler. Velasquez was supposed to start Sunday, but will instead make his next appearance on Wednesday, away against the Detroit Tigers. Kapler told reporters that the Phillies "have already seen Velasquez in the bullpen" and they want to now "see what Pivetta can do there."
Nick Pivetta seemed a bit frustrated today about moving to the bullpen with the Phillies near a deal for Drew Smyly. “They had their explanation and I’m in the bullpen. That’s all I have to say." https://t.co/I45ve4oEW8— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) July 19, 2019
Pivetta has struggled has of late, allowing 24 runs (23 earned) over his last six starts and 30 2/3 innings, good for a 6.75 ER and .289/.362/.562 opposing slash. The Phillies acquired the three-year veteran, who is 19-28 with a 5.41 ERA through 72 career games (71 starts), from the Washington Nationals in July 2015 for closer Jonathan Papelbon.