When a team such as the Philadelphia Phillies reaches the point in the season that it has, all the talk and attention turns to the future. With the Phillies going nowhere and the 2014 season a bust on every conceivable level, fans have no choice but to hope for better days and the players who might get them there.
Saturday, the Phillies announced that a piece of that future is getting a promotion. Aaron Nola, the right-handed pitcher the team took with the seventh pick of the 2014 draft, will be moving up the farm system ladder and will be pitching for the double-A Reading Fightin Phils this Wednesday.
During his time in single-A, Nola went 2-3, finishing with a 3.16 ERA and 30 strikeouts. Not bad for a 21-year-old who many within the Phillies organization feel could be the team’s ace of the future.
When Nola joined the the Phillies, it was crystal clear from Day 1 that the team planned to move him very quickly through the minor-league system and get him pitching with the big club as soon as possible. These are the types of things that happen when you team is going nowhere but downhill and you need something to keep the fans interested. Kind of like a bait and switch; “See over there? We have prospects playing some great ball and they are going to be ready next spring! What, the Phillies lost again? No worries! Look at Nola pitch!”
Yes, this is what it has come down to for the Phillies.
Along with Nola, fans can expect the team to also fast track (and be talking about endlessly) prospects J.P. Crawford and Maikel Franco, since this is about the only positive thing the Phillies have to talk about. No one should be surprised if all three get a long look during Spring Training in 2015 since the Phillies don’t have any other options right now.
Not doing anything at the trade deadline can have that effect on a baseball team.