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2019 Phillies in Review: Aaron Nola

Even the best fall down sometimes...

Boston Red Sox v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Numbers

12-7, 202.1 IP, 3.87 ERA, 229 K, 80 BB, 1.265 WHIP, 3.4 fWAR

The Good

Aaron Nola is a good pitcher with really good stuff.

Look at how absolutely NASTY his curveball movement is.

Watch him strike out 12 batters in 21 seconds.

This changeup? It should be illegal.

And this curve? Rest in Peace, Dom Smith.

He struck out 10+ batters four times this season, including matching a career-high 12 batters on May 18.

The Bad

Nola pitched a career-high 212.1 innings in 2018 and the effects of that workload showed early in the 2019 season. He looked good for the most part in July and August, but otherwise was not the dominant force we all know he can be.

The thing is, Aaron Nola wasn’t BAD in 2019. He just wasn’t as good as he was in 2018. With the rest of the starting rotation made up of AAAA starters and walking wounded, the Phillies really needed their Cy Young Finalist to repeat his 2018 season success. Which he didn’t.

The Future

Nola is signed through the 2022 season with a club option for 2023. New pitching coach Bryan Price has been praised for his ability to unlock talent and consistency in his pitchers, even winning Pitching Coach of the Year twice (2001 and 2007). With a good pitching coach, better pitchers around him in the rotation, and a smart workload in 2020, Aaron Nola is more than capable of matching—and surpassing—his 2018 success.