When Aaron Nola takes the hill, I am reminded of the slogan “King of the Hill” (not Paul McCartney’s “Fool on the Hill” – you younger fans please Google it), because that’s exactly what the man from NOLA has been – a king.
In his last 9 starts, he is 5-2 with a 1.76 ERA, among the leaders in baseball during that span. Per MLB.com, in his last 61 1/3 innings he has 70K and 17 BB. In other words, Phillies fans should be treated to a respite from awful starting pitching when he takes the mound tonight. The bullpen sure needs a rest, and the Phils could use a start of more than a few innings.
After he was shut down last season due to elbow soreness (and a 9.82 ERA) Aaron reported to the Phillies facility in Clearwater, and fell under the spell of Phillies pitching guru Ray Burris. Mr. Burris, a veteran of 15 MLB seasons (1973-1987), suggested changes in Aaron’s mechanics that resulted in more consistency, less stress on the arm, and obvious results.
A players success requires talent and work ethic, but player development is an organizational effort.
Baseball writer for SportsArePhilly.com. You can follow me on Twitter @jasphil