After a nearly two week-long hiatus, Nick Pivetta will make his return to the mound and start for the Red Sox in Sunday’s series finale against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora confirmed that with Connor Seabold making his major-league debut and first career start on Saturday, Pivetta will get the start on Sunday.
Pivetta has been held out of action since the end of August, as he was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on September 5 before it was revealed that he became the ninth Boston player to test positive for coronavirus two days later.
Despite being vaccinated against the virus, the right-hander still tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss his scheduled start against the Indians last Sunday.
Because he is vaccinated and did not exhibit any symptoms, though, Pivetta did not have to quarantine for 10 days upon receiving his positive results, as he traveled with the Red Sox to Chicago and was seen playing catch in the outfield earlier Saturday afternoon.
While the 28-year-old will be making his first start since August 30 on Sunday, he will be doing so in place of Chris Sale.
Sale was initially lined up to square off against his former team in Sunday’s series finale, but instead tested positive for COVID-19 himself on Thursday and did not travel with the Red Sox to Chicago.
The ace left-hander became the 10th Red Sox player to test positive for the virus and the 13th player the club has had to place on the COVID-19 related injured list since their outbreak began on August 27.
At this point, it is not yet known if Sale is vaccinated against COVID-19 considering he had a bout with the virus back in January. What is known, though, is that the Red Sox will be without the 32-year-old for the time being.
Having said that, Pivetta, again, will get the starting nod in Chicago on Sunday afternoon.
The 6-foot-5, 214 pound righty out of British Columbia owns an ERA of 4.67 ERA and FIP of 4.43 to go along with 151 strikeouts to 62 walks through his first 26 starts (135 innings pitched) of the season.
Pivetta has never pitched at Guaranteed Rate Field before over the course of his five-year major-league career, but he has posted a lifetime 2.70 ERA in three previous appearances (one start) against the White Sox.
(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)