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Red Sox RHP Pivetta 'feeling really confident' after spring debut

Alex Cora doesn't want Nick Pivetta to feel like he has something to prove, and it doesn't sound like the Red Sox right-hander has a chip on his shoulder, either.

The Red Sox traded for Pivetta last August in the deal that sent Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies, and he's projected to start the season as the No. 5 starter. But after spending four seasons with the Phillies, where he produced a 5.40 ERA as he only started 15 games over 2019 and 2020, the 28-year-old Pivetta isn't looking back, just focused on his new chance.

"I'm very grateful that the Red Sox wanted me as a starting pitcher," Pivetta said. "I think I've said that before, but that's really important for me because that's what I value myself as. I can help a team do that, and I put myself in that position. You just go with it. It's part of the business, part of the game. You get moved around. It's just, when a team goes out and gets you and gets some guys and they value you at the position you value yourself at, it's really important. It's a really big confidence booster as well."

Though he gave up a home run in his first start of the spring in the Red Sox' 14-6 win over the Twins, Pivetta is feeling good about himself.

After heading to the alternate site after being traded last season, he made two starts for the Red Sox in the last week of the year and went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 10 innings. That momentum seemed to translate to his work this winter and early this spring training. On Wednesday, his fastball velocity averaged 95 mph and topped out at 96, and he felt good about his pitches.

"I've definitely taken a lot of steps forward from when I was at the alternate site to now," Pivetta said. "I worked really, really hard in the weight room this offseason, worked hard on my mechanics, worked on how I delivered pitches, commanding my pitches better, game-planning better all in all. So I'd say a lot better. I'd say I'm in a really good position right now. I'm feeling really confident."

Pivetta is excited to be a member of the Red Sox, where he believes he'll have a chance to contend for a championship. He complemented how well-run the organization is from its coaching and training staffs, which he thinks can help maximize his talent and reach his potential.

"For me, it's just getting back to my normal self, how I started my career," Pivetta said. "Just having that confidence, having just my plan and sticking to it and just going out and being myself for the most part. Obviously, the Red Sox have a lot to offer. (Dave) Bush is a tremendous pitching coach and he has a lot of really great knowledge all around the board, so it's working with him, getting those details fine-lined down and getting ready for the season to compete and do a really good job and help this team really get to where we want to go."


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