After four rough outings for Nick Pivetta, the Phillies have made a change to their starting rotation. Pivetta was seen packing his bags at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday and will reportedly be replaced in the rotation by Jerad Eickhoff, who joined the team on Tuesday. Eickhoff was recalled in favor of Drew Anderson, who came up Monday when David Robertson went on the IL and threw two shutout innings against the Mets Tuesday night.
Even after being staked to a 10-0 lead in the first inning, Pivetta was ineffective against the Mets, pitching out of trouble in the first inning and allowing three earned runs over five innings of work. It didn’t help Pivetta’s cause that Eickhoff came on in relief in the sixth inning and threw four shutout innings and allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out six batters.
The Phillies are in the process of making a roster move. Nick Pivetta will be optioned. Jerad Eickhoff is in the rotation.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 17, 2019
Eickhoff’s career has been slowed by injuries, including carpal tunnel surgery last October to cure numbness in his fingers. There were recurring issues following the surgery and Eickhoff was shut down temporarily in spring training which caused him to be left off of the Phillies roster to open the 2019 season. Eickhoff was also hampered by a lat strain last season.
With Lehigh Valley, Eickhoff had made two starts this season and posted a 4.50 ERA. The Phillies acquired Eickhoff as part of the trade that sent Cole Hamels to Texas at the 2015 trade deadline. That season, Eickhoff made eight starts for the Phillies and was 3-3 with a 2.65 ERA. He followed that up with 33 starts in 2016 and a 3.65 ERA before stumbling to a 4.74 ERA in 24 starts in 2017. Overall, Eickhoff has pitched in 69 major league games and is 18-26 with a 3.87 ERA, including his four shutout innings on Tuesday night.
On the season, Pivetta is 2-1 with an 8.35 ERA in his four starts, allowing 31 hits and 17 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings of work.
In another move, the Phillies have purchased the contract of infielder Phil Gosselin from Lehigh Valley. Gosselin will give the Phillies a little insurance off the bench for the infield after Jean Segura experienced hamstring tightness during Tuesday night’s game and exited early. There are no plans to place Segura on the IL, but the Phillies do need an extra infielder, so Gosselin will take Pivetta’s spot on the 25-man roster. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Gosselin, the Phillies moved reliever Tommy Hunter to the 60-day IL since Hunter won’t be ready to rejoin the team until at least mid to late May.
Gosselin has played in 276 major league games, including 20 with Cincinnati last season. He is a career .263 hitter in the majors.