VICTORIA, B.C. – 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 to announce that right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta has become the first alum to reach Major League Baseball.
The 2013 HarbourCats hurler and Victoria native will be promoted to the major leagues by the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday and is expected to make his MLB debut on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park against the Miami Marlins.
Pivetta is in Philadelphia, the team has announced officially, and is listed as the probable starter for the Phillies — assuming the weather does not impact Tuesday’s game, Pivetta will toe the rubber on Wednesday night.
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 baseball 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.
The HarbourCats open the 2017 WCL season on 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.