Philadelphia Phillies should not worry about Aaron Nola

Sep 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks to the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks to the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

There is no question that Aaron Nola had a rough 2021 campaign. The Philadelphia Phillies co-ace was anything but, giving up a career worst 93 earned runs. Those struggles were clear in the second half of the season, as he posted a 5.30 ERA in his final 16 starts. As Nola had been solid in his previous 16 starts to begin the year, it was truly a tale of two seasons.

Given that performance, it may be fair to consider Nola a bit of a question mark heading into 2022. He was expected to pair with Zack Wheeler to give the Phillies a formidable duo atop the rotation. While Wheeler more than did his part, the same cannot be said of Nola.

No reason for Philadephia Phillies to worry about Aaron Nola

Overall, Nola had an interesting year for the Phillies in 2021. His 4.63 ERA was certainly a disappointment, but he also posted an excellent 1.129 WHiP in his 180.2 innings, striking out 223 batters with just 39 walks. The rest of his numbers were certainly solid.

More Phillies. Bohm could be further hindered by lockout. light

That was the case when looking deeper into Nola’s performance as well. He posted a 3.37 FIP, one of the lower marks of his career. Opponents were held to a .237/.286/.405 batting line, which was certainly respectable and in line with his career norms. The issue was that Nola allowed a .310 batting average on balls in play, his worst mark since 2017.

His batted ball data shows that Nola deserved a better fate as well. He was roughly in the middle of the pack in terms of exit velocity, but ranked in the 92nd percentile in walk rate and was in the 86th percentile in strikeout percentage. Understandably, Statcast predicted that Nola would have allowed a .223/.283/.378 batting line and a 3.35 ERA.

It is easy to look at one area and be concerned. After all, pitchers are supposed to keep runs off the board, and Nola struggled in that department. However, those struggles were more a matter of bad luck than a sudden inability to get batters out. Chances are, he will once again return to form in 2022, with this past season just being a bump in the road.

Why all the hate for Bryce Harper?. dark. Next

Aaron Nola was a disappointment for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021. That will not be the case during the 2022 campaign.