Stroman is certainly striking out more batters and garnering well-deserved attention for his hitless performance a few nights ago, but Nolin has also lived up to his own abilities. The big left-hander from Seaford, New York has struck out his fair share of batters (9.4 K/9) while limiting hits at an outstanding rate of (4.7 H/9), good for a measly .143 batting average against over 23 innings and four starts.
His best outing came a week ago when he allowed only one hit over 6.1 innings against the Louisville Bats and, while he certainly benefitted from the weak lineup Louisville rolled out, it actually continued a roll of success for him. After giving up four earned runs over only five innings on April 13th, Nolin bounced back to shut out the Pawtucket Red Sox over 6 innings during his next start. Meaning that Nolin is on a small shutout streak, stretching over his last two starts and 12.1 innings pitched.
The only thing that has been concerning about Nolin during the early going has been his high walk rate of 4.3 BB/9, but on the positive side that number is actually lower than the 5.1 BB/9 he posted over the three starts he had in Triple A last season.
Earlier, during Spring Training, I profiled Nolin as an underrated prospect with the ability to be a solid addition if he continued to make positive strides. However, his dominance so far has made the comparison to John Lannan look somewhat underwhelming in hindsight! Between Nolin and Stroman, the Blue Jays have two very solid pieces that could pick up their failing rotation in the near future.
Nolin’s next start is scheduled for this Friday night, May 2nd, against the Charlotte Knights. Make sure you follow the box score or, if you can, travel to Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, New York to cheer him on and watch him attempt to extend his scoreless streak!