News: 5 days agoNola may not be ready to start the Phillies' season opener July 24 against the Marlins, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Spin: Nola arrived at Phillies camp Monday and explained that his absence from the team's first few workouts was due to the fact that he had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 but that he'd never tested positive himself. Still, his time spent in isolation may mean he's not quite ready to go for the start of the season, which is less than three weeks away. The pitcher himself said earlier in the day that he expects to make the Opening Day start, but manager Joe Girardi said Monday that it's still too early to make that decision.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: After a breakthrough 2018 during which he was baseball's only qualified pitcher to post at least 25% strikeout and 50% ground ball rates as well as a sub-7.5% walk rate, Nola's control regressed to a professional-worst 9.4% in 2019, with it dragging down all of his pertinent fantasy numbers. While he was one of only six pitchers to make at least 34 starts and pitch at least 200 innings, his ERA soared by a run and a half, with his underlying skills suggesting it was a true representation of the performance. In Nola's defense, his average four-seam fastball velocity continued a three-year pattern of increase, his past track record suggests he should be sharper with his control in 2020, and he's one of the more reliable arms from a volume standpoint. He should cruise to a top-20 finish at his position, and if he's looking sharp in the spring, might have a path to top-10 status.