Ten things for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2018

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Odubel Herrera #37 after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Mets 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Odubel Herrera #37 after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Mets 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 25: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the top of the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals defeated the Phillies 3-1. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Aaron Nola being Aaron Nola

The Phillies’ starting rotation was a complete dumpster fire in 2017 except for one pitcher: Aaron Nola. In fact, he was among the best in the league. His 4.3 fWAR ranked 13th among all starters in the league, slotted between Jacob DeGrom and Justin Verlander. That is some good company.

In 27 starts, Nola racked up 168 innings pitched, 184 strikeouts, 49 walks, a 3.54 ERA, 3.27 fielding-independent pitching, and 1.21 WHIP. He returned to his 2015 and early-2016 form, which everyone was hoping for after he ended the 2016 season on the disabled list after two months of struggles.

As of now, Nola remains the frontline starter in Philadelphia’s rotation. It’s highly likely the team acquires someone via trade or rotation to bolster the rotation, but even then Nola should still remain one of the team’s premier starters.

Last year, Nola was worth watching every time he took the mound, and that should still continue in 2018.

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