Aaron Nola has been a staple in the Phillies’ starting rotation ever since his debut with the team back in 2015. A first-round draft pick back in 2014, Nola fast-tracked to the majors in just one year’s time, going through three minor league levels, then eventually to the big leagues. He has been as consistent as one could be, as in his nine-year career with the ballclub, he has posted a 86-67 winning record, along with a 3.66 ERA, 115 ERA+, and 1.12 WHIP. As well, you can count on him being healthy and be giving you at least 30 starts per year, as shown in his past few years.
This year, however, he has struggled a bit coming out of the gate and his inconsistency has persisted up until now as well. Of his 18 starts, only once did he have a start where he didn’t give up a run, and has only producing seven quality starts in total for the year. On the season, he is 8-5 with a 4.30 ERA, 100 ERA+, 1.10 WHIP, giving up 54 earned runs, including 18 home runs, 30 walks and 114 strikeouts over 113 innings pitched. He finished in fourth for the NL Cy Young award voting just last year, so perhaps this year could just be an anomaly in his resumé. Hopefully, his impressive start from Tuesday is the first step in the right direction in turning around his 2023 season.
Nevertheless, as Nola enters the wrong side of 30 when free agency hits at the end of the year, the Phillies will need to consider whether or not Nola will continue to be in their long-term plans. They tried to get an extension done with him back in March with a proposed five-year, $100 million deal, but it did not pan out, as he could possibly get more as a free agent. They may try again some time this year, but if Nola can’t turn things around soon and lead the Phillies back into the playoffs, more than that could be possible, including being made available on the trade table.