Phillies: Rotation’s repertoire analysis for 2020

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies warms up prior to a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Spectrum Field on February 23, 2020 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies warms up prior to a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Spectrum Field on February 23, 2020 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Suarez dials up a circle change in his bid to make the Phillies rotation. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. /

Bottom rung:     

With Arrieta becoming a free agent even with a good 162, the Phillies strategy is for Eflin to be a two-slot arm in 2021 with an improved changeup or curveball. Ergo, the fifth-slot competition now may eventually produce two winners. But the delay and condensed schedule may work against Suarez for now.

For fans who want Velasquez in the pen or closing, please, forward all your complaints to the Phillies because he may be in the five spot. Though, if Suarez has enough time, he could claim that slot. Regarding Velasquez in relief, he would have to earn the closer’s role after proving he’s a dependable eighth-frame setup man.

Phillies rotational arsenal:

  • Velasquez’s four-seam fastball: 1321 for 62.4 percent
    with a 94.5-mph average and a 98.4-mph high.
    Slider: 420 for 19.8 percent.
    Curve: 263 for 12.4 percent.
    Sinker: 91 for 4.3 percent.
    Changeup: 23 for 1.1 percent.
  • Pivetta’s four-seam fastball: 792 for 49.2 percent
    with a 94.9-mph average and a 98.3-mph high.
    Curve: 569 for 35.4 percent.
    Slider: 193 for 12 percent.
    Sinker: 33 for 2.1 percent.
    Changeup: 22 for 1.4 percent.

Phillies rotational results toward 75-80 percent: 

  • Velasquez, 27.5: 11 good, 4 so-so and 8 bad out of 23 starts for 65.2%
  • Pivetta, 27: 2 good, 5 so-so and 6 bad out of 13 starts for 53.9%

Pivetta has electric stuff but his accuracy will determine his role. Usually, studs are in the bullpen because they can only maintain control for one or two innings. If so, handling pressure in the seventh, eighth or ninth would decide his fate.

Phillies rotational arsenal:

  • Suarez’s four-seam fastball: 181 for 23.8 percent
    with a 93-mph average and a 95.4-mph high.
    Sinker: 220 for 28.9 percent.
    Changeup: 204 for 26.8 percent.
    Slider: 157 for 20.6 percent.

Generally, Suarez has enough “giddyup” on his four-seam fastball and sinker to rely on them at a 52.7 percent rate and mix in his other pitches. But the lefty-less rotation is a disadvantage Suarez could remedy. Presently, his success in the relief corps has already earned him a bullpen seat.