What can you say about Aaron Nola? He has been the guy for eight-plus years now in Philly. He is Philly. Fresh off his recently agreed-upon contract, we'll get to see him in red pinstripes for the foreseeable future.
His 2023 was a very interesting one, to say the least. Nola surrendered a career-high 32 home runs over the course of 32 starts — not good. Nola ended the season with a 1.151 WHIP — very good. Aaron Nola has stuff, durability, and poise; that's what makes him a great pitcher.
Obviously, Nola wasn't what everyone had expected, or even hoped for, this year. His sniper-like two-seamer that always used to find the edge leaked over the plate. His nasty 12-6 Curveball that he would bury in the dirt stayed up just a little too long. His velocity was down consistently late into games. Yet, he still ended the season with a 4.46 ERA, close to 200 innings, and 200-plus strikeouts again.
Everyone has hiccups or off periods. Thankfully it wasn't during the postseason.
Nola pitched to a 3-1 record with a 2.35 ERA with over 20 strikeouts in his four starts in the postseason. He was a huge piece of the carefully crafted puzzle Caleb Cotham and Rob Thomson created.
The postseason matters most. If he hadn't performed so well during the postseason his grade would be a C. Instead, he receives a B.