Phillies trade candidate No. 2: SP Aaron Nola
The second potential Phillie that might be moved is starting pitcher Aaron Nola. The homegrown pitcher out of LSU has been one of the few constants of the Phillies team since 2015 when he made his MLB debut. Nola is a polarizing figure in Philadelphia due to his feast or famine-type pitching nature.
Especially this season, it feels like Nola is just one bad half-inning away from getting hit around the yard. The right-hander is a free agent at the end of the season. With that fact, as well as his mediocre play so far this season, Nola is definitely a trade chip if the team believes they are out of the playoff race by August 1st’s trade deadline. This season his numbers are trending to be his worst year in the big leagues.
His numbers have been pedestrian with a large side of concern. Nola has made 12 starts, pitched 74.2 innings, and tallied a 4-4 record with a 4.70 ERA. Nola is amongst the top three Phillies pitchers leading three statistical categories that accentuate Nola’s tendency to get tagged for multiple runs in an inning. Home runs allowed (12), walks allowed (18), and strikeouts (65) all have Nola’s name at the top of the leaderboard for the Phillies. There could be too much focus on making perfect pitches, which could promote more walks and striking guys out because of Nola’s noted dip in velocity.
Overall, Nola is a pretty good pitcher that has not quite fully put together his abilities that would have materialized into the left-handed Cole Hamels I believed he could be. Maybe a change of scenery can elevate him back to the Aaron Nola he was last season during the Phillies’ stretch run. The Phillies certainly should make calls on Nola to get something back for him.