Each season in Major League Baseball is currently scheduled to last for 162 games. This means that the Philadelphia Phillies (30-21) will reach the 1/3 pole with their home game on Tuesday night against the Saint Louis Cardinals.
Over the next few days, I’ll be handing out the report cards for the first “trimester” of the season for each player on the Phillies 2019 roster. There will be a letter grade, along with a brief description of their contributions, including their relevant statistics.
I’ll be back with each player’s grades for the second trimester and the season to that point when the Phillies reach the 108-game mark. That is scheduled to come on July 31, the same date as the MLB trade deadline.
FIRST TRIMESTER GRADE: B
STATS: 11 starts, 5-0 record, 4.53 ERA, 1.543 WHIP, 64 hits allowed including nine home runs over 57.2 innings with a 66/25 K:BB ratio.
REPORT: It’s been a mixed bag for Nola, a pitcher who finished third in the 2018 NL Cy Young Award voting and who many expected to challenge for that honor this time around as well. The ERA and WHIP are unsightly, mostly because of a three-start stretch in early April.
Since that early rough patch, Nola has gone 4-0 and the team is 6-1 over his last seven starts. Winning is what it’s all about, and Nola has found a way to win most times out, even without being as effective as last season. That gets him the shaky ‘B’ grade this time around. Believe me, I was tempted to go a level lower.
Just four of his 11 starts have been of the Quality Start variety thus far in 2019. In eight of the 11 he has given up more hits than innings pitched. He needs to solve these early-season issues and return closer to that 2018 form, or the Phillies are going to find holding on to first place much more difficult as we move into and through the summer months.
The right-hander turnes just 26-years-old next week. He has all the tools still, and has flashed them this season despite some struggles, to pitch at the front of the Phillies rotation for a long time. Still the best the team has to offer, I expect him to be better over the second part of the trimester.
Give us your feedback. Respond either as a comment to this piece or at our social media feeds. What is your take on him to this point? What, if anything, would you do differently regarding this player or their role if you were the Phillies manager or GM?
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- PN first trimester report card: Jerad Eickhoff
- PN first trimester report card: Nick Williams
- PN first trimester report card: Nick Pivetta
- PN first trimester report card: Pat Neshek
- Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner recently scouted by Phillies