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. Coach of the Easton YellowJackets of the Lehigh Valley Cal Ripken League.
You can follow me on Twitter @jasphil