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Phillies' Smyly to Replace Pivetta in Rotation, Debut This Sunday

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Drew Smyly in, Nick Pivetta out.

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.

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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."

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.

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