Feeling great, Nola throws first bullpen session

Mackanin 'cautiously optimistic' after righty finished 2016 on disabled list

Feeling great, Nola throws first bullpen session

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It is just one bullpen session, but Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola threw his first one of the spring Wednesday at Carpenter Complex.

It seemed to go well.

Nola finished last season on the disabled list with a low-grade sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament and a low-grade strain of his flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow. But after a PRP injection in August and a successful rehab in Clearwater in October, he entered camp with no limitations.

Of course, the true test will come later this spring when he pitches in Grapefruit League games and increases his workload. But certainly the Phillies are hopeful that Nola will be healthy and effective. He went 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA in his first 12 starts last season, before finishing 1-5 with a 9.82 ERA in his final eight.

"We're cautiously optimistic," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said after the workout. "He feels great. He feels like he's 100 percent and he looks like he's 100 percent. So the test for him is going to be during the course of the season, if he holds up. And I'm hoping he does because we know how good he can be."

Arano injured
Right-handed pitching prospect Victor Arano will have his right elbow examined following persistent soreness since autumn. Arano, 22, went a combined 5-2 with a 2.26 ERA in 46 relief appearances for Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He is in camp as a non-roster invitee, showing how highly the Phillies think of his potential as a reliever.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.