Pivetta preps for Phillies start

 RHP Nick Pivetta (Victoria, BC) is expected to make his major-league debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. The two-time Canadian Baseball Network minor league Canadian pitcher of the year is a grad of the Victoria Eagles and Victoria HarbourCats.

RHP Nick Pivetta (Victoria, BC) is expected to make his major-league debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. The two-time Canadian Baseball Network minor league Canadian pitcher of the year is a grad of the Victoria Eagles and Victoria HarbourCats.

April 25, 2017

HarbourCat alum Pivetta gets the call

Victoria native Nick Pivetta promoted to major leagues by Phillies

By Jon Hodgson
VICTORIA, BC – He was threw the first pitch in Victoria HarbourCats history in June of 2013, and he’s from Victoria. It seems only right that he’ll also be the first former Victoria HarbourCats player to put on a big-league uniform.

The HarbourCats are proud that right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta has become its first alum to reach the majors.

The 2013 HarbourCats hurler and Victoria native will be promoted to the major leagues by the Philadelphia Phillies and is expected to make his MLB debut Sunday night at Dodger Stadium when the Phillies face lefty Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Pivetta was in Philadelphia, the team has announced officially, and was listed as the probable starter for the Phillies on Wednesday, however a rain out on Tuesday pushed his start date back.  

Pivetta attended Lambrick Park High School and played for the Victoria Eagles of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League. The Victoria product played for Canada’s Junior National Team, pitching in the 2010 18U World Championship.

Pivetta signed with the HarbourCats in 2013 while attending and playing New Mexico Junior College. He started two games during the HarbourCats inaugural season, posting a 2-0 record with a 5.26 ERA and nine strikeouts in 13.2 innings. 

Just days after his second start in Victoria, Pivetta was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals.

On July 28, 2015, the Nationals traded Pivetta to Philadelphia in exchange for all-star major league closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Pivetta was promoted to triple-A late in 2016 where he posted a 2-2 record with a 2.55 ERA in five starts for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  He began 2017 in Lehigh Valley, posting a 3-0 record and 0.95 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings prior to his promotion to the Phillies.

Prior to the 2017 season, Pivetta represented his country, suiting up for Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic. Nick was the starting pitcher for Canada’s second game of the WBC, pitching four innings and allowing just one run on five hits with a strikeout in a 4-1 loss to Colombia.

“It’s an absolute thrill to see a HarbourCats player reach the big leagues -- our first, and it’s a significant milestone,” said HarbourCats managing partner Jim Swanson.

“Most of all, we’re happy for Nick and family and friends. That our first MLB player is also a product of the Victoria system makes it a perfect situation and something we can all celebrate. We think Nick will have a long career as a big league pitcher, he’s done all the right things to develop.”

Pivetta will become the seventh Canadian-born player to appear in the major leagues in 2017 and 259th all time. He will join a fellow Victoria native and Lambrick Park grad, outfielder Michael Saunders, with the Phillies.

The Victoria product is one of 31 HarbourCats drafted in the franchise’s first four years in the West Coast League. As a league, the WCL recorded a high-water mark in 2016, with 93 current or former players taken in the MLB draft.

In 2016 alone, 28 WCL alumni played in the major leagues.

Pivetta was a guest at the HarbourCats Hotstove in November 2016, where he joined HarbourCats coach and former major league outfielder Brian McRae, as well as former major league catcher and current Sportsnet analyst Gregg Zaun.

The HarbourCats open the 2017 WCL season June 1 on the road against the WCL’s newest team, the Port Angeles Lefties.  Their home opener at Royal Athletic Park is June 5 when the Wenatchee AppleSox visit Victoria.

Jonathan Hodgson

Jonathan Hodgson will provide coverage on the Western Major Baseball League. The WMBL is Canada's premier collegiate summer league, for college players from both sides of the border, with teams based in Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Melville, Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton, as well as Hodgson's home team, the Okotoks Dawgs. Jonathan has been with the Dawgs organization since 2003 and team broadcaster since the 2008 season. In addition to his duties in Okotoks, Jonathan works at the league level. As the Lead Reporter for WMBL.ca, he is responsible for all content seen on the WMBL website. Hodgson recently graduated from John G. Diefenbaker High School in Calgary, and now has his sights set on college, and a journalism degree. A true baseball enthusiast, Jonathan has had a passion for the game since a very young age, but it was in 2008 at the Dawgs banquet where a meeting with Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Jerry Howarth fueled his desire for a baseball career.