The wait is finally over for the Phillies top pitching prospect Aaron Nola as he will be making his MLB debut Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The fans this year will finally have a good reason to make their way down to Citizens Bank Park to watch the young phenom go up against big league talent.
The Phillies have confirmed that their 2014 first round pick will wear jersey number 27 when he makes his debut on Tuesday. All year-long the team has really struggled and there hasn’t been much to get excited about. The quality of the pitching rotation other than Cole Hamels (and in the beginning of the year Aaron Harang) has just been dreadful. Reports all indicated that Nola would be promoted shortly after the All-Star break or closer to the trade deadline if ace Cole Hamels was dealt to a contender for an overhaul of prospects. The Phillies front office has been holding onto Hamels for a king’s ransom and should hold out as teams become more and more desperate at the deadline.
The 22-year-old Nola destroyed his competition through the minors so far this year. In 18 combined starts in both Double A and Triple A, the right hander went 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA. Climbing the ranks of the minor league system was absolutely no problem for Nola; it was projected when he was drafted that it wouldn’t take long for him to join the big league club. In his case, the minor league race was a sprint instead of a marathon.
Nola will be the first Phillies player since Pat Combs in 1989 to debut a season after being drafted.