Forget about Lehigh Valley. The kid looks ready for The Show.
Aaron Nola continued his early season blitzkrieg on the Eastern League for the Phils' Double-A affiliate in Reading Wednesday, with seven shutout innings, giving up just four singles and one walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA on the season to 1.54.
Aaron Nola: 103 pitches, 70 strikes. In 7 starts this season, 6 walks. Has 0.93 ERA over last 7 starts. Enough said. #Phillies— Mike Drago (@mldrago) May 20, 2015
Those 103 pitches were a career high for Nola, last year's first round draft pick, and the rave reviews continue to flow in.
Today Aaron Nola has thrown all three pitches wherever he has wanted to and has gotten guys to miss both in and out of the zone— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) May 20, 2015
Nola since that first start (through today) 47 IP 30 H 5 ER (0.96 ERA) 4 BB (0.8/9) 36 K (6.9/9)— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) May 20, 2015
And lest you think I'm getting over-enthused about a prospect who would undoubtedly generate a lot of intrigue and excitement were he to be called up, it appears the Phillies' two biggest decision makers wanted to get a closer look too.
Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick both in Reading today to watch #Phillies pitching prospect Aaron Nola— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) May 20, 2015
Of course, Amaro and Gillick could both be in Reading to shop at some of the few remaining outlet stores in the city, we can't be sure. But their presence at Nola's game today signals a move could be coming.
In fact, a move SHOULD be coming. With any luck, this was Nola's final outing for Reading. The only question now is, does he go to Lehigh, or is it time for the youngster to hit the Majors?
The Phillies are loathe to level-jump a player, no matter how good the numbers look. But by all accounts, Nola appears to be Major League-ready. And for a team that is dealing with a lack of starting pitching depth and could potentially be looking at trading at least two of their existing starters (Cole Hamels and Aaron Harang), bringing Nola up to the big club would make a lot of sense.
In fact, it makes the most sense. It doesn't seem terribly clear what the benefit would be of having him move to Triple-A first.
Either way, it appears as though Nola is moving on up.
Somewhere. Perhaps the East Side. Hard to tell.