Cubs Reaction: Former ace Jake Arrieta on his way to Philadelphia
By Logan Whaley
A auspicious rotation in the making
The Philadelphia Phillies do not boast a starting rotation that necessarily jumps out. Anchored by Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff over the past few seasons, they are beginning to find their groove.
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The past two seasons have seen the Phillies rotation as a whole stay consistent. In 2016, the team finished with a 4.64 ERA and posted 13.6 Wins Above Replacement. In 2017, they finished with a slightly better 4.57 rotational ERA and posted 12.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Nola, the proverbial ace of the club, pitched well in 2017. He pitched to a 12-11 record with a 3.54 ERA and 4.3 Wins Above Replacement. The staff’s number two, Jerad Eickhoff, unfortunately, struggled after a respectable 2016 campaign, pitching to a 4.71 ERA in twenty-four starts.
The rotation projected to round out with Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, and Ben Lively. Velasquez is the only other piece in the rotation who possessed any authentic experience before last season. Unfortunately, Velasquez also started just 15 games in 2017 after surgery on his middle finger shelved him for the remainder of the season
Nick Pivetta did start 26 games for the Phillies in 2017, however, pitched to a disappointingly high 6.02 ERA. Ben Lively, on the other hand, posted a respectable 4.26 ERA in his 15 starts.
Not a ton of realistic experience moving into 2018.