Phillies Notes: Aumont didn't deserve call-up, Phillies say

Posted: September 05, 2013

When the Phillies included Phillippe Aumont on their opening-day roster, they envisioned a pitcher who would ultimately harness his powerful pitches for a crucial relief role. Instead, the 24-year-old righthander's season ended Monday when he packed his locker at triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Aumont categorized his season as "completely garbage" in comments to the Allentown Morning Call. The Phillies did not disagree.

"I'm sure he was disappointed not to be recalled," Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper said. "But he didn't deserve to be called up. Deep down, he probably knows that. But we certainly haven't given up on him."

Aumont pitched erratically in 22 games for the Phillies before a demotion in late May. He struck out 42 and walked 38 in 352/3 innings with the IronPigs for a 4.04 ERA. His final appearance encapsulated a lost season. Looper said Aumont's fastball registered 97 m.p.h. Monday, and triple-A pitching coach Ray Burris gave high grades for Aumont's curveball.

"But he walked two," Looper said.

Aumont walked at least one batter in eight of his final nine appearances for Lehigh Valley. He was the centerpiece of a 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle.

Looper, a former Mariners executive, was one person who helped pick the package of players the Phillies received for Lee. Tyson Gillies, another member of the 40-man roster, was sent home like Aumont. J.C. Ramirez, the third player in the deal, has a 9.18 ERA with the Phillies.

"If I'm not in their plans," Aumont said, "I don't want to be back."

Looper said that is far from the team's thinking, not when so much is unsettled in the bullpen.

"He didn't get to the point where we thought he would be," Looper said. "We thought at some point in the season he would be a dominating guy for us in the bullpen. He didn't get to that point. We haven't given up on him getting to that point - and I don't think he has."

Rollins' progress

Early in his tenure, interim manager Ryne Sandberg was candid about necessary improvements from Jimmy Rollins. The shortstop has hit .168 since Sandberg was promoted, but he sees a different player.

Rollins drew 15 walks in 75 plate appearances beginning Aug. 16, the day Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel. He accumulated the same amount of walks in 258 plate appearances from June 4 to Aug. 15.

That was one area Sandberg stressed.

"I've seen a lot already," Sandberg said. "Oh, I've seen the bases on balls and working of the counts. He has gotten on base with walks. He has applied his baserunning."

Sandberg used Freddy Galvis' addition to the roster as a chance Tuesday to sit Rollins.

Extra bases

Third baseman Maikel Franco and righthander Severino Gonzalez were named winners of the team's Paul Owens Awards as the best player and pitcher in the minor-league system. . . . Pitching prospect Adam Morgan, a lefthander, will see team physician Michael Ciccotti this week because of lingering shoulder problems. The Phillies already tried rest for two months during the season, so surgery may be required.

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