Nola progressing through injury recovery

Appel also making strides, could start season at Triple-A

Nola progressing through injury recovery

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies cannot have enough pitching, which is why they need Aaron Nola and Mark Appel healthy next spring.

So far so good.

Nola and Appel have been recovering from injures this fall in Clearwater, Fla. Nola suffered what the Phillies called a low-grade sprain of his right UCL and a low-grade strain of his flexor pronator tendon in August. He had a PRP injection shortly thereafter. Appel had surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow in June.

Phillies player development director Joe Jordan said both pitchers have been progressing in Florida, and if everything goes well, they will finish their work in the next few weeks and head home for the offseason, where they will begin preparing for Spring Training.

If healthy, Nola is a lock to make the Opening Day roster. Appel seems likely to open the season in Triple-A, considering how much time he has missed.

Top Draft pick Mickey Moniak missed some time recently with a sore hip, but he is fine.

"He has no issues," Jordan said. "He was back on the field playing at the end of instructional league. I really think the news is good on all three of them."

Also, left-handed prospect Brandon Leibrandt will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League as expected. He has a back issue, which has prevented him from getting ready for the AFL schedule. The Phillies are not sending anybody to replace him.

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.