Results tagged ‘ Tim Hudson ’

Phillies Take Nola With No. 7 Pick

nolaThe Phillies hinted last week they preferred a polished baseball player, not just an athlete with the proverbial “high ceiling” with the seventh overall pick in tonight’s First-Year Player Draft.

They followed through and selected LSU right-hander Aaron Nola.

“We would hope that in a couple of years he could be here pitching here in the organization with the Major League team,” Phillies assistant general manager of amateur scouting Marti Wolever said. “It’s hard to say, but within a couple of years, I think that’s a pretty safe estimate.”

MLB.com considered Nola the sixth-best player available in the Draft, and most scouts project him to be the first starting pitcher to appear in the big leagues. He is 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, so he is not imposing on the mound. But Nola has excellent command of his pitches, which includes a two-seam and four-seam fastball, a changeup and a breaking ball. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range, although Wolever said he has seen him touch 97 mph.

“A name that was mentioned upstairs (in the Phillies front office) quite frequently was Tim Hudson,” Wolever said, when asked for a comparable big-league pitcher. “I hate to put it on these kids because now all of a sudden they’ve got to live up to that. But that was tossed around quite a bit with our group. Just the command and the life on his fastball. … There’s something to say about having ‘now’ stuff. And that’s what Aaron Nola has. Aaron Nola has ‘now’ stuff. We don’t really have to project a lot because it’s already here.”

Nola, 21, is eager to get started.

“I kind of want to get going,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday night. “I look forward to getting up there.”

It sounds like that should not be a problem. Wolever said he thinks they are “very close” to signing Nola. Once he signs, it would not be a surprise to see him begin his professional career with Class A Clearwater, but because he threw 116 1/3 inning this season the Phillies plan to bring him along slowly.

Read more about Nola here.

Rauuuuuul and Roy

A few things from last night’s game and this week’s sweep over Washington:

  • Raul Ibanez entered the series in a 0-for-34 slump. He extended that slump to 35 at-bats following an at-bat in the second inning Tuesday. But Ibanez finished the series 8-for-11 with three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs, raising his batting average from .152 to .214. Nobody knows where Ibanez goes from here, but it’s a good start.
  • Roy Halladay is an insane 18-1 with a 1.56 ERA in 19 starts against the National League East since the beginning of last season. Tim Hudson is the only other pitcher to have 10 or more victories against the NL East since last year. He is 10-5. Halladay’s 18 wins are so insane he is tied for second in the NL East in wins from 2008-11. Josh Johnson has 19 wins against the NL East in that span. (Halladay is tied with Hudson, Jair Jurrjens and Jamie Moyer.) Not that you need reminding, but Halladay made only two starts against the NL East from 2008-09 while he pitched for the Blue Jays.
  • Halladay vs. John Lannan was a huge mismatch, and Elias Sports Bureau tells us just how bad it was. Halladay had won his last nine decisions against the Nationals/Expos and Lannan had an 0-9 record against the Phillies. Last night was the first time starting pitchers — one on a winning streak of nine or more games against the opposing team and the other on a losing streak of nine or more games against his opponent — faced each other since Sept. 29, 1929, when the Red Sox and Philadelphia Athletics played at Braves Field in Boston. A’s starter Lefty Grove had won 13-straight decisions against the Red Sox and Boston starter Red Ruffing had lost 12-straight decisions against the Athletics. Ruffing and the Red Sox beat Grove and the A’s, 10-0, snapping both streaks.

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Halladay for Cy Young?

Thumbnail image for halladay 0529 2010.jpgRoy Halladay threw seven scoreless innings last night in a 1-0 victory over the Nationals.

(Sure, the Phillies save all their runs for Halladay, but not Cole Hamels.)

Where does Halladay stack up in the National League Cy Young race? He is 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA. He ranks third in the league in wins and ERA. He ranks first in shutouts (three), complete games (eight), innings (200), strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.20) and perfect games (one).

Other top NL Cy Young candidates include:

  • Ubaldo Jimenez: 17-3, 2.59 ERA
  • Adam Wainwright: 17-7, 2.06 ERA
  • Josh Johnson: 11-5, 2.27 ERA
  • Tim Hudson: 14-5, 2.15 ERA

It’s a tough call. If Halladay had better run support he already would have more than 20 wins — although I’m not a believer that win-loss record indicates how strong a pitcher is. (Case in point: Hamels, who is 7-10). But the entire group I listed is pretty tightly packed, which means the next six weeks could determine it.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

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