BostonCajun

Aaron Nola 2019 Outlook

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On 6/4/2019 at 5:06 AM, FootballFan101 said:

Yes, Nola was better in May than in April, but he still posted a brutal 1.39 WHIP in May.  Something is seriously wrong with this guy.  We're 13 starts into the season now, and Nola has performed at a waiver wire level so far this year.  Look, I know we disagreed prior to the season about your claim that Nola was a bonafide fantasy ace, but, still, Nola's consistent peripherals from 2016 to 2018, while not elite, were top 20-25 caliber.  This year, Nola's peripherals have taken a huge step backwards and almost fully support his brutal 4.63 ERA (4.39 FIP) and his 1.53 WHIP is flat-out atrocious.  I expected Nola to regress all the way back to his 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP numbers from 2017, but I never expected Nola would be this bad where honestly fantasy owners so far would have been better off not having a 3rd round pick than drafting Nola.

It seems like every time Nola has a good start and everyone on here declares that Nola is back and is going to perform like an ace rest of the season, Nola always follows up that good start with a stinker.  Honestly even in most of Nola's "good" starts this year, he's walked too many guys.  

It's very rare for any pitcher to have a WHIP over 1.50, and I can't recall ever seeing a 3rd round pitcher do it.  (I'm not sure they were quite top 3 rounds, but Tim Lincecum in 2012 and Matt Harvey in 2016 come to mind as early round picks that posted awful ratios, but even they didn't have WHIPs over 1.50.)  Nola is looking like a bust of historic proportions this year.

 

 

 

 

I'm still hoping he gives us something, but yes, he has been disappointing. It just seemed that before the other night he had started to turn the corner. Remember that in his seven starts before San Diego, he had a 2.50 ERA. He still has the talent, he's had some very good starts, it's consistency he lacks this year. I don't know if he's pitching hurt (sometimes his curve looks as great as it was last year, sometimes it looks flat) or if it's mental (I think many in the analytical community overlook that factor) but something is off. I don't even know what to think anymore. I've watched enough of his games this year to see that the talent is still there, but something is up.

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Posted (edited)

I want to look more fully at his seven games before the Padres cluster-f---, so 4/25 through 5/29. The good: 2.50 ERA with a 3.18 FIP. Also 10.4 K/9, or if you prefer 27.2 K rate. The bad: 1.36 WHIP and 3.6 BB/9, or again if you prefer 9.5 BB rate. He was also 4-0 with four quality starts in that span. I tried to watch at least parts of as many of his starts as I can. He's still getting his strikeouts, even through his struggles this year, when he's on he's on. The issue is that too often he's only been on for a few innings at a time - that's where the BB rate comes in, he's lost his command far too often this season. It's uncharacteristic of him to the point where I think something is going on that we don't know about (remember some years ago Miggy had a pretty poor start to the season where it turned out he had been nursing an injury). I don't know what's going on with him, but the fact that he 'only' got four QS in a stretch where he had a 2.50 ERA seems to highlight his command issues. He did avoid the big inning for seven straight starts, that tells me he still has the stuff, and he's built up enough of a leash in those seven starts that I'll still throw him out there but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned at this point. 

I think he is better than his overall numbers would suggest, but he's been frustrating to own this year. Sure, he could have another stretch of solid starts to bring his ERA down even more, but until the command issues are fixed I'll continue to worry. 

 

Edit: Also in that span he had some bad BABIP luck (.343) balanced by some good LOB luck (86.9%), fwiw. 

Edited by phillyphan21

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On 6/4/2019 at 7:54 AM, jackg1162 said:

This guy is basically Jose Quintana from last year.  Only drafted 3 rounds earlier.

 

13 hours ago, FootballFan101 said:

 

Quintana posted a 4.03 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP last year.  Not good numbers obviously and probably not numbers worth owning in most leagues, but still a heck of a lot better than Nola's numbers this year.

And Quintana THIS year is light years ahead of Nola. Pretty incredible to think about actually

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Man I wish Philly would find some phantom injury (or real) to stick this guy on the IL for a bit. I love Nola, but he’s killing me this year. 

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9 hours ago, Flyman75 said:

Man I wish Philly would find some phantom injury (or real) to stick this guy on the IL for a bit. I love Nola, but he’s killing me this year. 

 

KILLING ME!

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On 6/4/2019 at 12:31 AM, jackg1162 said:

This guy has been a real piece of s--- this year.

 

You're being far too kind to Nola.  

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On 6/5/2019 at 10:49 PM, Flyman75 said:

Man I wish Philly would find some phantom injury (or real) to stick this guy on the IL for a bit. I love Nola, but he’s killing me this year. 

Me too.  I’ve tried trading him relentlessly with no luck.  I can’t bring myself to drop him either.  I just know that he will go off when somebody else picks him up.

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If he can't give us, at least a quality start at home, against Cincinnati's hapless lineup, then I don't know what to do with him. 🤞

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As an owner of both Nola and Gray I'm hoping for a pitchers duel today.

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22 minutes ago, cizastro said:

As an owner of both Nola and Gray I'm hoping for a pitchers duel today.

 

Samesies. Puig can get some walks with SBs though.

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Nola finally puts 6.2 strong innings together today, but the depleted bullpen (in the form of Jose Alvarez) allowed both of the inherited runners to score.  He was getting called strikes all game and locating his pitches well, particularly the breaking stuff.  Some of the pitches, including several of the called third strikes, were off the plate but he got the calls today.

3 BB still isn't great, but despite the mediocre result, this is a much-needed step forward.

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4 hours ago, 89Topps said:

If he can't give us, at least a quality start at home, against Cincinnati's hapless lineup, then I don't know what to do with him. 🤞

 

Yet another mediocre start today from Nola and once again too many walks.  I know one of the walks was intentional, but you the walk to VanMeter in the 7th inning was inexcusable and is really a microcosm of Nola's struggles this year.  You just can't walk a bad hitter like that with the game on the line.  For a guy that doesn't throw super hard, Nola needs to have good control if he's going to be an above average MLB pitcher.  If Nola is going to continue to walk 10% of the batters he faces rather than 6 or 7% as in the previous 3 years, he's probably going to continue to post waiver wire caliber fantasy numbers.

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1 hour ago, FootballFan101 said:

 

Yet another mediocre start today from Nola and once again too many walks.  I know one of the walks was intentional, but you the walk to VanMeter in the 7th inning was inexcusable and is really a microcosm of Nola's struggles this year.  You just can't walk a bad hitter like that with the game on the line.  For a guy that doesn't throw super hard, Nola needs to have good control if he's going to be an above average MLB pitcher.  If Nola is going to continue to walk 10% of the batters he faces rather than 6 or 7% as in the previous 3 years, he's probably going to continue to post waiver wire caliber fantasy numbers.

 

I mean, it wasn't a phenomenal start and he hasn't been great this year, but I'd stop short of mediocre. Seven base runners in six and two/thirds, and if it weren't for a terrible play where Franco cut off Segura going for the ball and made a bad throw they would have gotten the third out of the inning while Nola was still in. It should have been seven innings with one earned run. I've been a bit more critical of him the past couple weeks than I had been early on, but I have to say I watched this game and he was mostly fine, his defense let him down here, and I'd actually argue the second inning was where he looked the most lost, to the point I was afraid we might have another Padres game; Reds just didn't capitalize for more than one run.

 

It's no secret that Nola hasn't been great this year, but we really are getting to the point where we're getting a bit too nit-picky, i.e. no one would be calling this start mediocre on pretty much any other SP thread. The walks do have to stop, Nola isn't a Nolan Ryan type that can walk more than ten percent of his batters and still be effective. He just isn't. His curve, when on, is still one of the best pitches in baseball. Problem is, it hasn't been on consistently or he otherwise hasn't been locating his fastball well enough to set it up. I still think he's better than he's been showing, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him really break out of it eventually (remember he had a 2.50 ERA in the seven starts before San Diego, though that was also to the tune of a 1.36 WHIP). He's flashed enough of the old Nola in pretty much every game since the end of April that I'm not totally deflated, but he is frustrating. 

 

Basically, if you get anything from this rambling, Nola isn't frustrating because he's been outright awful (by and large he hasn't been). Outside of the first few games he's shown plenty of flashes of what we expected coming into the season; the frustration is that he hasn't put it all together all in one game more than two or three times.

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Hard to get excited about Nolas 3 run performance vs the powerhouse reds lineup. Pivetta went out and dominated them night before for 9 innings.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, phillyphan21 said:

 

I mean, it wasn't a phenomenal start and he hasn't been great this year, but I'd stop short of mediocre. Seven base runners in six and two/thirds, and if it weren't for a terrible play where Franco cut off Segura going for the ball and made a bad throw they would have gotten the third out of the inning while Nola was still in. It should have been seven innings with one earned run. I've been a bit more critical of him the past couple weeks than I had been early on, but I have to say I watched this game and he was mostly fine, his defense let him down here, and I'd actually argue the second inning was where he looked the most lost, to the point I was afraid we might have another Padres game; Reds just didn't capitalize for more than one run.

 

It's no secret that Nola hasn't been great this year, but we really are getting to the point where we're getting a bit too nit-picky, i.e. no one would be calling this start mediocre on pretty much any other SP thread. The walks do have to stop, Nola isn't a Nolan Ryan type that can walk more than ten percent of his batters and still be effective. He just isn't. His curve, when on, is still one of the best pitches in baseball. Problem is, it hasn't been on consistently or he otherwise hasn't been locating his fastball well enough to set it up. I still think he's better than he's been showing, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him really break out of it eventually (remember he had a 2.50 ERA in the seven starts before San Diego, though that was also to the tune of a 1.36 WHIP). He's flashed enough of the old Nola in pretty much every game since the end of April that I'm not totally deflated, but he is frustrating. 

 

Basically, if you get anything from this rambling, Nola isn't frustrating because he's been outright awful (by and large he hasn't been). Outside of the first few games he's shown plenty of flashes of what we expected coming into the season; the frustration is that he hasn't put it all together all in one game more than two or three times.

 

It's true that Nola wasn't as bad yesterday as he was vs. San Diego, so I guess if you are a glass half full kind of person, you can spin a positive from that.  However, considering Nola was at home facing a last-place Reds teams that had just been dominated by Eflin and Pivetta the past two games, I bet a lot of fantasy owners found a 4.05 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and no win yesterday pretty disappointing.  It's true that Franco made a bad defensive play there as you mentioned, but Nola still cannot walk a bad hitter like Van Meter after that. 

Edited by FootballFan101

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20 hours ago, tonycpsu said:

Nola finally puts 6.2 strong innings together today, but the depleted bullpen (in the form of Jose Alvarez) allowed both of the inherited runners to score.  He was getting called strikes all game and locating his pitches well, particularly the breaking stuff.  Some of the pitches, including several of the called third strikes, were off the plate but he got the calls today.

3 BB still isn't great, but despite the mediocre result, this is a much-needed step forward.

 

That's the 2nd straight outing where the bullpen has come on and let in all inherited runs. 

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1 minute ago, cizastro said:

 

That's the 2nd straight outing where the bullpen has come on and let in all inherited runs. 

Yeah I saw that coming once he walked vanmeter. At that point leave him in and let him face the damage. 

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On 6/9/2019 at 8:03 PM, buzzkilloton said:

Hard to get excited about Nolas 3 run performance vs the powerhouse reds lineup. Pivetta went out and dominated them night before for 9 innings.

 

To put in perspective just how awful Aaron Nola has been this year:  I see that people on the forum page of Steven Matz (who had an ADP well outside the top 200) are complaining about how high Matz's WHIP is this year.  (I wasn't expecting anything great from Matz this year, but I do agree he has been a little disappointing and worse than usual this year.)  Meanwhile Nola (who had an ADP inside the top 40) has a WHIP 0.15 points higher than Matz, 1.49 compared to 1.34.

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https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-phillies-have-their-ace-back/  

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say he's back to ace form yet (still not getting enough swinging strikes and still walking a bit too much for my tastes) but he has been trending in the right direction for some time now. Per the article, one of his big problems early on was that, for whatever reason, he was throwing the ball in the heart of the plate on 0-1 counts.Not only was he having a hard time getting the first pitch strike, he was often squandering it. Since the end of April he's been throwing first pitch strikes (62.4 percent) and on 0-1 counts has done a much better job of painting the corners and hitting his spots, all illustrated by the two heat charts in the article. 

In the span the article talks about (so everything after his 4/15 start) he has a 3.61 ERA and a 3.54 FIP, obviously still not ace form (that ERA would have been good for 27th last season between Price and Kyle Gibson) but a far cry from awful. He's walking too many and still not getting enough swinging strikes and maybe I was a bit too bullish on him early in the season, but he is recording first pitch strikes, is striking guys out and hitting his spots in general, and still has a bit of BABIP bad luck lurking in there. He would probably have to go scorched earth ROS to return exact draft day value - which I don't see happening btw - but he should still be solid enough ROS that his owners shouldn't have too many complaints outside of the walks, which is what I think keeps him from being a true ace this year.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, phillyphan21 said:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-phillies-have-their-ace-back/  

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say he's back to ace form yet (still not getting enough swinging strikes and still walking a bit too much for my tastes) but he has been trending in the right direction for some time now. Per the article, one of his big problems early on was that, for whatever reason, he was throwing the ball in the heart of the plate on 0-1 counts.Not only was he having a hard time getting the first pitch strike, he was often squandering it. Since the end of April he's been throwing first pitch strikes (62.4 percent) and on 0-1 counts has done a much better job of painting the corners and hitting his spots, all illustrated by the two heat charts in the article. 

In the span the article talks about (so everything after his 4/15 start) he has a 3.61 ERA and a 3.54 FIP, obviously still not ace form (that ERA would have been good for 27th last season between Price and Kyle Gibson) but a far cry from awful. He's walking too many and still not getting enough swinging strikes and maybe I was a bit too bullish on him early in the season, but he is recording first pitch strikes, is striking guys out and hitting his spots in general, and still has a bit of BABIP bad luck lurking in there. He would probably have to go scorched earth ROS to return exact draft day value - which I don't see happening btw - but he should still be solid enough ROS that his owners shouldn't have too many complaints outside of the walks, which is what I think keeps him from being a true ace this year.

 

Once again, way too many walks and too many HRs tonight.  We're 15 starts in (roughly the half year) and Aaron Nola still has a WHIP over 1.50.   Even if you want to throw Nola's awful first 4 starts out, he still has a 1.45 WHIP since then.  Out of all pitchers with enough IP to qualifying for the ERA title, only Ivan Nova, Reynaldo Lopez, and Aaron Sanchez have a worse WHIP than Nola in the entire major leagues right now!  

In my opinion, the debate with Nola right now isn't whether he's a true ace like he was in 2018.  The debate isn't whether he's a solid SP #2 like he was 2017 (which is what I considered him coming into the season.  While I did probably like Nola less than most people going into the year, clearly I was very wrong about him too.  [...] The debate at this point is whether Nola is going to be worth owning rest of the season.   One thing I feel pretty confident saying is that if Nola, a guy that does not throw super hard for today's standards, is going to continue to walk over 10% of his batters, he's going to continue to perform at a waiver wire caliber level rest of the season.

Edited by tonycpsu
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, phillyphan21 said:

LOOOOOOOOL @ "ace" back.

The best thing Philly could do is just mercy IL the poor guy.

He's toast. When excellent command is (was?) your  carrying tool, you simply can't walk that many guys. And when he does manage to throw strikes he leaves way waaayyy too many pitches right over the heart of the plate. I was never high on Nola but this is just getting sad.

Edited by cs3
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1 minute ago, cs3 said:

LOOOOOOOOL @ "ace" back.

The best thing Philly could do is just mercy IL the poor guy.

He's toast. When he does manage to throw strikes he leaves way waaayyy too many pitches right over the heart of the plate. I was never high on Nola but this is just getting sad.

 

Can’t get much worse for us owners that own this bust. I just can’t comprehend the drastic difference between Nola last year and this year. How does a young 26 year old that’s supposed to be in his prime just fall off a cliff this this?

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Picking up a streamer for tomorrow and actually thought for a second about dropping Nola.  I'm not going to, but honestly, performance wise, he's most deserving on my roster.

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I had him last year, and I certainly would have drafted him this year, but there was a divine intervention and he is currently not on my squad.

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Guys a bum. He has no control on his fastball this season so hitters are just lighting him up. If u didnt sell high awhile back you're stuck with him at this point.

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