Ace Aaron Nola?

Since Aaron Nola first came up in 2015 the Philadelphia Phillies have been waiting to see if he can take the next step of becoming the ace of the staff. The Phillies added veteran starting pitcher Jake Arrieta in the offseason. Arrieta signed a three year $75 million deal with the Phillies, the addition of Arrieta was to add security to Nola and a young starting rotation that has struggled throughout the rebuild in the past four to five seasons. Nola last season lead the staff with a 3.54 ERA, and a 12-11 record in 27 games through 168 innings pitched. The Phillies added Arrieta to add a guy that has had ace like stuff before when he won the Cy Young award in 2015 with the Cubs. However, Arrieta has been good and a steady option for this rotation posting a 5-4 record with an 2.97 ERA but he hasn’t been the ace. Aaron Nola has. Nola in 2018 has been not only the best pitcher on the Phillies but one of the best in Major League Baseball. He has posted in 14 games pitched an 8-2 record with a 2.27 ERA in 91 innings pitched. His ERA currently ranks first on the Phillies and 5th in the National League behind the names of Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Mike Foltynewicz, and Jon Lester. You would have to say he’s in pretty good company, and among some of the premier pitchers in the National League. His wins currently rank second in a tie with Michael Wacha, and just two wins behind Max Scherzer for the N.L lead. The stat though that really jumps out is his WHIP (Walks + Hits per IP) which is ranked second just behind Max Scherzer with an 0.93 WHIP which means he’s just simply not allowing hardly anyone to get on base. If you need more proof to show you how good Aaron Nola’s been this year just look at what batters are hitting against him which is an average of .197, which is third among the leaders in the National League. The season is only in June and Nola is already only four wins shy of matching his career high which was twelve last season. Max Scherzer has been typical Max Scherzer and will probably start the all star game for the National League, and is on pace to add another Cy Young Award but Nola definitely deserves some recognition for what he has brought this season. It is only June but Aaron Nola is beginning to show signs of being the ace the Phillies need him to be for years to come. The Phillies currently sit in third place in the N.L East but just 3.5 games back of the first place Atlanta Braves. We will see if Nola can help lead this staff, and lead the club back to the postseason for the first time since 2011.

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