Phillies Roster Moves Officially End Nola’s 2016 Season
Aaron Nola‘s 2016 season is officially over.
#Phillies have transferred Aaron Nola to 60-day DL, optioned Elvis Araujo to Lehigh Valley, & selected the contract of RHP Frank Herrmann.
— Phillies (@Phillies) August 17, 2016
It’s important to remember that moving players to the 60-day disabled list at this point in the season is more procedural than anything else. This doesn’t necessarily mean Aaron Nola’s prognosis is any worse or better than it was when the injury was first announced, only that the team is prepared to accept that he will not be returning before the end of the 2016 season. [UPDATE: His official diagnosis has now been described as a “mild UCL sprain and mild flexor strain.”] Moving him to the 60-day frees up a spot on the 40-man roster which will now be taken by relief pitcher Frank Herrmann.
Elvis Araujo has shown flashes of being an effective left-handed reliever in his two seasons with Philadelphia, but has been unable to translate that into any sort of consistency on the mound. His most recent stint with the big club began with three innings during which he yielded just one hit and one walk, but also failed to strikeout a single batter. Then, last night, he had a horrendous appearance against the Dodgers during he which he recorded just one out while yielding six earned runs on two hits and three walks.
As Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts noted earlier today, a worrying trend for Araujo is beginning to crop up as, for the second straight season, he’s experienced a precipitous velocity decline as the season has progressed.
Araujo’s left-handedness makes it likely that, barring an injury, he’ll be back in Philadelphia in September. However, with the impending 40-man roster crunch this winter, Araujo could find himself as one of the relievers on the roster bubble.
Herrmann, the newest member of the bullpen, is a right-handed pitcher which means the Phillies now find themselves without a lefty in the pen once again. He is a 32-year-old pitcher who spent some time with the Cleveland Indians from 2010-2012, but underwent Tommy John Surgery at the start of the 2013 season and has not been able to work his way back to the majors until now. He’s been with Triple-A Lehigh Valley all season and has put up impressive numbers: 31.1 IP, 1.72 ERA, 25.2 K%, 4.9 BB%, 0.96 WHIP. However, the realities of his age and status as arbitration-eligible make it extraordinary unlikely that Herrmann will remain on the roster beyond the end of the 2016 season.