MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Scouting profile: Aaron Nola

Phillies prospect is ready to make an impact in the Major Leagues

Scouting profile: Aaron Nola

Background
Aaron Nola caught the attention of scouts while he was still at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, La.

The right-handed starting pitcher was named the 2011 Class 5A State Player of the Year and was voted the state's "Mr. Baseball." His efforts earned him a selection in the 22nd round of the '11 Draft. However, instead of signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, Nola chose to attend Louisiana State University.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies willing to be patient with Harrison

Phillies willing to be patient with Harrison

PHILADELPHIA -- For a team building toward a bright future, the Phillies acquired a player with a recent history that has been marred by injury.

Through trades over the past week, the Phillies acquired young players who now occupy Nos. 3, 4, 5, 13, 14, 15 and 24 in their prospect rankings in exchange for veterans like Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere who didn't factor into the future as the organization envisions it. But also included in the bounty was one player who doesn't quite fit in with the cohort of young, high-upside players headed to Philadelphia: Matt Harrison.

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Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Looking back at Hamels' stellar Phillies career

Looking back at Hamels' stellar Phillies career

PHILADELPHIA -- The walls of the home manager's office at Citizens Bank Park are dotted by pictures of special players and moments from Phillies history. The photo that hangs closest to the desk was taken on the night of Oct. 29, 2008.

The Phillies had just beaten the Rays to win the World Series. On the left is first baseman Ryan Howard, holding the trophy. On the right is Cole Hamels, clutching the Most Valuable Player award. In the background is the red sports car he received for winning it.

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Paul Hagen is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Howard helps Phillies knock off Braves

Howard helps Phillies knock off Braves

PHILADELPHIA -- With all the moves that happened in Philadelphia on Friday, it might've been hard to remember that the team still had a game to play. But from the way the Phillies played, the trades didn't seem to affect them.

The Philadelphia offense erupted for nine runs and 11 hits in their 9-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. The offense started early with the first five Phillies to come to the plate all reaching base and four of them scoring. From there the offense didn't relent. The win was the Phillies' 11th in 13 games since the All-Star break, continuing the hot streak that has accounted for more than a quarter of the team's wins this season.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Deadline haul a significant step for Phillies

Deadline haul a significant step for Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- The whispers were loud, persistent and anonymous. The Phillies were asking too much, way too much, for their big-ticket items. As good as Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon were, there was no way they were worth the can't-miss prospects from the farm system of whichever team was being rumored to be most interested at the moment.

Or so the innuendo went. It could have been nothing more than a calculated, covert attempt to drive down the price on both pitchers. It forced a denial from the Phils.

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Paul Hagen is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Burrell inducted onto Phillies' Wall of Fame

Burrell inducted onto Phillies' Wall of Fame

PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Burrell's wit spared no one.

He mocked his closest friends. He picked on his former managers, juxtaposing the even-keeled Charlie Manuel against the quick-tempered Larry Bowa. He even joked about the sometimes fractured relationship between him and the media.

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Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buchanan's confidence continues to blossom

Buchanan's confidence continues to blossom

PHILADELPHIA -- David Buchanan isn't the kind of player who gets accused of loafing.

"I get kind of yelled at sometimes, 'Take it easy, don't try to blow anything out trying to get to first base,'" he said. "But that's just the competitive nature in myself. I'm not going to hit a ground ball and not try to beat it out."

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Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamels' trade to Texas is complete

Phillies get lefty Harrison, five prospects

Hamels' trade to Texas is complete

PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels said farewell Friday to Philadelphia.

He had a heck of a 13-year run. It began in 2002, when the Phillies made him the 17th overall pick in the Draft. He reached the big leagues in 2006 with plenty of fanfare. He earned the National League Championship Series and World Series Most Valuable Player Awards in 2008, when the Phillies won their second championship in franchise history. He was part of a nearly storybook season in 2011, when he joined Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt in a memorable rotation.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils pick up pair of pitching prospects for Revere

Righties Tirado, Cordero headed to Philadelphia from Blue Jays

Phils pick up pair of pitching prospects for Revere

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies acquired right-handed pitching prospects Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero from the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon for outfielder Ben Revere in a move completed just prior to the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Tirado, who slots in as the Phils' No. 15 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is a 20-year-old who has transitioned into the bullpen over the past few years. He joined the Blue Jays' organization in 2012 as a 17-year-old starting pitcher. Tirado has spent this season at Class A Advanced Dunedin, where he's 4-3 with a 3.23 ERA in 31 appearances.

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Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies might not be done making moves

Utley, Harang, Francoeur could be traded before Aug. 31 wavier Trade Deadline

Phillies might not be done making moves

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies might not be finished making trades.

They could trade Chase Utley, Aaron Harang, Jeff Francoeur and others before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline. Utley has received interest from teams, although he is on the disabled list with an injured right ankle.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ruiz, Phillies take series opener from Braves

Ruiz, Phillies take series opener from Braves

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Harang and Shelby Miller came into Thursday night's Braves-Phillies game a combined 0-14 since May 17. Harang broke his streak. Miller didn't.

Harang threw five innings in his first start since July 1 -- when he went on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis -- in the Phillies' 4-1 win at Citizens Bank Park. The winning decision for Harang ended a streak of eight straight starts in which he registered the losing decision and nine straight winless starts in total. He allowed just one run despite the nine hits he surrendered and struck out three.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harang stepping up as veteran leader of rotation

Harang stepping up as veteran leader of rotation

PHILADELPHIA -- David Buchanan is 26. Adam Morgan is 25. Aaron Nola is 22. And then there's Aaron Harang.

With word of Cole Hamels' trade to the Rangers expected to come Friday, the Phillies' clubhouse is losing more than just an ace; it's losing a veteran presence to help guide the new guard of Philadelphia starters in times of confusion. Enter Harang.

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Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies ready to celebrate alumni weekend

Phillies ready to celebrate alumni weekend

PHILADELPHIA -- It is unlikely Cole Hamels will stick around for the Phillies' alumni weekend.

But the Phillies have plenty planned without him.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Prospects in Hamels deal give Phils bright future

Philadelphia gains talent on horizon in returns from blockbuster deal

Prospects in Hamels deal give Phils bright future

The Phillies have waited and waited and waited to get the best deal possible for Cole Hamels, one that could help restock an organization thin on talent in the Majors and Minors. They finally did so on Friday, consummating an eight-player deal with the Rangers.

Philadelphia sent Hamels, Jake Diekman and $9.5 million in cash to Texas for Matt Harrison and five prospects: right-handers Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher, outfielder Nick Williams and catcher Jorge Alfaro.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies lack punch as Williams labors vs. Jays

Phillies lack punch as Williams labors vs. Jays

TORONTO -- Troy Tulowitzki made the most of his Blue Jays debut Wednesday, cracking a homer while collecting a pair of doubles in an 8-2 win over the Phillies at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays' newest star collected three hits with three RBIs and three runs scored as Toronto split the two-game set.

Making his first career start in a leadoff role, Tulowitzki, acquired in a trade with the Rockies on Tuesday, made his presence felt in the third, when he went deep with a two-run shot off Philly starter Jerome Williams to spot the Blue Jays an early 2-0 lead. He was at it again in the fifth, when he laced a leadoff double to left field before Jose Bautista cashed him in with a one-out single. Tulowitzki hit an RBI double off the wall in his next at-bat as part of a three-run sixth, and he finished 3-for-5.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Phillies Mural to honor club's rich history

McShane: 'Remember how we're connected as a community'

Phillies Mural to honor club's rich history

PHILADELPHIA -- Once again, Tug McGraw is jumping into the sky, celebrating the first World Series championship in Phillies history.

Only this time, McGraw is doing it eight stories high. And he's joined by dozens of iconic faces and moments and even the ballparks from franchise history on a spectacular 3,750-square-foot mural located at 24th and Walnut Street, and visible from the Schuylkill River Trail and I-76.

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Paul Hagen is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies acquire Pivetta from Nats for Papelbon

Double-A righty ranked as Philly's No. 10 prospect, could project as middle-rotation asset

Phillies acquire Pivetta from Nats for Papelbon

TORONTO -- Jonathan Papelbon finally got his wish.

The Phillies announced Tuesday night they had traded Papelbon and cash considerations to the Nationals for Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta, ending Papelbon's tumultuous Phillies career without the trips to the postseason he expected when he signed a four-year, $50 million contract in November 2011. MLBPipeline.com ranks Pivetta as the Phillies' No. 10 prospect.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giles overcomes nerves for save in new role

Phillies' anointed closer earns second career save, first since replacing traded Papelbon

Giles overcomes nerves for save in new role

TORONTO -- Ken Giles seemed destined to pitch the ninth inning in a save situation Tuesday night, right?

Less than an hour after the Phillies announced they had traded Jonathan Papelbon and cash considerations to the Nationals for Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta, Giles picked up the save in a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies slug past Blue Jays for comeback win

Phillies slug past Blue Jays for comeback win

TORONTO -- Ken Giles settled into his newly minted role as closer on Tuesday, helping the Phillies seal a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Hours after former closer Jonathan Papelbon was traded to the Nationals, Giles came on to protect a one-run lead and threw a scoreless ninth inning as Philadelphia took the opener of a two-game set. After allowing a leadoff single to Edwin Encarnacion, Giles retired Chris Colabello and Russell Martin on flyouts before Danny Valencia grounded into a forceout to end the game. It was Giles' first save of the season and the second of his career.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Howard hits ball off his leg, ends up with single

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Howard hits ball off his leg, ends up with single

MLB rules stipulate that "A foul ball is a batted ball ... that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground." Apparently there's also a little-known addendum stipulating that the above is true "unless you're a ninja who can sneakily will the ball off of his leg, in which case go ahead and take first base." Either that, or Ryan Howard is an Animorph who can transform from human into the natural ground

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CarGo, Hamels share NL's weekly honor

CarGo, Hamels share NL's weekly honor

One outstanding position player and one outstanding pitcher -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Phillies starter Cole Hamels -- have been named National League Co-Players of the Week after their performances last week.

Hamels threw a no-hitter against the Cubs on Saturday, while Gonzalez led the Majors with five home runs and a 1.190 slugging percentage.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies break out, collect 21 XBHs in series

Franco, Howard homer in Sunday's victory to complete sweep over Cubs

Phillies break out, collect 21 XBHs in series

CHICAGO -- If the Phillies trade Cole Hamels before Friday's 4 p.m. non-waiver Trade Deadline, they would love to get at least one power hitter in return.

The Phils entered this weekend's three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field ranked 26th in baseball with just 242 extra-base hits. But they had 21 in the series against Chicago, including a season-high eight Saturday and again Sunday in an 11-5 victory.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nola follows Hamels with first career victory

Rookie tosses 7 2/3 sharp innings a day after Phillies' ace's no-hitter

Nola follows Hamels with first career victory

CHICAGO -- Cole Hamels got a bottle of Dom Perignon as a gift for pitching Saturday's no-hitter against the Cubs.

Aaron Nola got Sunday's game ball.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies finish sweep as Nola tallies first win

Phillies finish sweep as Nola tallies first win

CHICAGO -- Aaron Nola didn't need to throw a no-hitter to shut down the Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field. Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard each hit two-run homers and Domonic Brown had four RBIs to back Nola, who picked up his first big league win in his second career start as the Phillies romped, 11-5.

Nola gave up five hits, including a two-run homer by Addison Russell in the eighth, over 7 2/3 innings for the win to help the Phillies post their third sweep this season, and first on the road. They're now 8-1 since the All-Star break.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies Minor League review, July 20-26

Phillies Minor League review, July 20-26

Players of the Week

Player 1B Brock Stassi, Reading…Stassi, 25, was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Week after batting .444 (12-27) in seven games with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, and in five of those games has recorded multiple hits. Stassi's 66 RBI are most in the league, and he also ranks among the top four in average (.315), on-base percentage (.406), total bases (156) and walks (54). His home run on July 23 was his ninth of the season, which is a new career high. Stassi was selected by the Phillies in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft out of The University of Nevada-Reno, and was signed by Joey Davis.

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Hamels celebrates, 'can't dwell' on achievement

Phillies ace has to move on, prepare for next start after no-hitter

Hamels celebrates, 'can't dwell' on achievement

CHICAGO -- Cole Hamels celebrated his no-hitter Saturday night with family and friends, but the once-in-a-lifetime moment still had not sunk in Sunday morning.

"Not really," Hamels said in the visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field. "It's weird. I think the postseason has a bigger impact because it comes at the end of the season. Here, you can't dwell on it because you're still playing. You still have basically a half-season to go and you have to get ready to go again in five days."

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Still a Phillie, Hamels shows value in no-no

Philadelphia ace makes history in final start before Trade Deadline

Still a Phillie, Hamels shows value in no-no

CHICAGO -- If this is Cole Hamels' final moment in a Phillies uniform, he made it an unforgettable one.

A DomiNoNo has been delivered: Win free pizza

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stone Cole: Hamels no-hits Cubs

Stone Cole: Hamels no-hits Cubs

CHICAGO -- If this was Cole Hamels' last start with the Phillies, it was a beauty. A prime target for teams looking for starting pitching prior to Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the left-hander threw a no-hitter in the Phillies' 5-0 victory over the Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

A DomiNoNo has been delivered: Win free pizza

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.