Amaro: Pitching prospect Nola 'close' to bigs

Amaro: Pitching prospect Nola 'close' to bigs

LOS ANGELES -- Aaron Nola remains the Phillies' closest pitching prospect to the big leagues, especially with the rotation consistently struggling to pitch six innings. It would not be a surprise to see him with the Phillies before the end of the month.

Nola, the club's No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, after going 7-3 with a 1.88 ERA in 12 starts for Double-A Reading.

"He's close," senior vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday. "He's still working on some things. He struggled through a couple of games. He hasn't necessarily been knocked around, but it hasn't been easy for him. He's still learning some things and dealing with more veteran hitters in Triple-A, which is a good test for him.

"I don't think he's that far away, but when he's ready he'll be here. Just because our rotation is very poor right now, it doesn't mean we're going to bring him to the big leagues for that reason. We're going to bring him when it's time for him developmentally."

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.