Results tagged ‘ Phillippe Aumont ’

Hamels Scratched from Friday’s Start

Cole HamelsThis isn’t the news the Phillies needed.

They announced this afternoon that Cole Hamels has been scratched from tomorrow night’s start against the Cardinals because of a mild right hamstring strain. Triple-A right-hander Phillippe Aumont will start in his place.

Hamels is 5-5 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 starts this season, but his health is critical as the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday he is hopeful the Phillies can make some trades to speed up the team’s rebuilding process. Hamels is the team’s most valuable piece, so they must hope the injury does not linger and Hamels returns to the rotation shortly.

A roster move will be made prior to Friday’s game to accommodate Aumont on the 25-man and 40-man rosters.

Aumont Outrighted to Triple_A

Phillippe AumontPhillippe Aumont quietly packed up the things in his locker this morning at Bright House Field.

He could have been packing for a trip to another organization, but he was not. Aumont entered Spring Training out of options, which meant if he did not make the Opening Day roster he needed to clear waivers to remain with the Phillies. But nobody claimed Aumont, so the Phillies announced he had been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Aumont, 26, is the only remaining piece of the Cliff Lee trade with the Mariners in Dec. 2009. Aumont, 26, is 1-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 45 appearances with the Phillies over the previous three seasons. He went 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA in seven appearances this spring. He allowed 13 hits, four earned runs, two walks and three home runs with 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.

“I thought I did all right,” Aumont said. “Walks were down. I thought it was good enough, but some other people thought differently. But it’s OK.”

There are mixed feelings about Aumont among the coaching staff and front office. Some still see potential in the 6-foot-7 right-hander. Others do not.

A change of scenery might benefit Aumont.

“Obviously I think that anybody would think that,” Aumont said. “But the bottom line is I’m still here. I’m still getting an opportunity somewhere. That’s all that really matters.”

Aumont could have asked to be released, but he said he did not.

“What good is going to do to ask them to release me when they could have done it on their own?” Aumont said. “So if they didn’t do it, it’s for a reason. That’s the way I see it. I’ve got some work to do. I’ll just get it done.”

Aumont, Hernandez Out of Options

Phillippe AumontProjecting the Phillies’ Opening Day roster is an annual rite of spring.

For that reason it is worth knowing the players in camp without options. Options play a considerable role in a player’s chances of making the 25-man roster. Players without options must clear waivers before they can be assigned to the Minor Leagues, so there is risk in losing the player altogether if he does not make the team.

In Phillies camp there are six players without options: right-handers Jerome Williams, Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont; left-hander Andy Oliver; and infielders Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez.

It is not a factor for Williams, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract in the offseason. He is expected to be the team’s No. 4 starter behind Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Aaron Harang. It also is not a factor for Oliver, who is a Rule 5 Draft pick. The Phillies must keep Oliver on their 25-man roster the entire season or he must be offered back to the Pirates.

Galvis is expected to be the everyday shortstop, so options should not be an issue. De Fratus is a heavy favorite to make the bullpen. The same holds true for him.

But the performances of Aumont and Hernandez this spring are worth watching because of their situations.

Aumont is 1-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 45 appearances over the past three seasons. He has averaged 6.1 walks per nine innings in that time. The Phillies love his stuff, but he will need to throw strikes and pitch much more consistently to earn a spot in the bullpen which already includes locks like Jonathan Papelbon, Ken Giles and Jake Diekman with De Fratus a strong favorite for a fourth spot.

Hernandez seems to be a better bet to make the team because he can play a little bit at shortstop and the Phillies do not have a true backup for Galvis. Hernandez has hit .264 with a .624 OPS in 256 plate appearances the past two seasons.

The Phillies Got Bullpen Problems

Mike AdamsThe Phillies tied last night’s game against the Twins in the top of the eighth inning at Target Field only to have Mike Adams and Antonio Bastardo allow the game-winning run to score in the bottom half of the inning.

We’ve seen plenty of performances like this from the bullpen this year.

Back in February, when the Phillies opened spring training in Clearwater, they thought the bullpen could be a position of strength. The bullpen had a 2.84 ERA the final two months last season, so they figured with the additions of Adams and Chad Durbin to a group that included Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo and a host of talented young pitchers, they would continue to take a step forward. But the bullpen has taken a big step back. Its 4.48 ERA is the third-worst in baseball. It has allowed 42.9 percent of its inherited runners to score, which is the worst in baseball. Its 1.46 WHIP is second-worst.

Let’s take a look at the stable of relievers, and how they have fared:

  • Jonathan Papelbon. He is being paid a fortune to close, but he is doing the job. He is 11-for-11 in save opportunities with a 1.59 ERA, but you’ve got to think the Phillies will try to move him if they decide to sell before the July 31 trade deadline. It doesn’t make much sense to have a high-priced closer on a rebuilding team.
  • Mike Adams. The Phillies signed him to a two-year, $12 million contract in December, acknowledging it carried risk following TOC surgery in October. Adams’ stuff hasn’t been the same and he has had problems staying healthy. He is 1-4 with a 4.22 ERA with a 7.11 ERA since coming off the DL May 26.
  • Antonio Bastardo. He has a 2.42 ERA in 27 appearances, but a 1.478 WHIP and is averaging 5.6 walks per nine innings. He also is striking out fewer batters than he has in the past. Bastardo always seems to be in trouble. Maybe that explains why he has entered a game with runners on base just three times. He has allowed two of four inherited runners to score, including one last night.
  • Chad Durbin. Released. He had a 9.00 ERA in 16 appearances.
  • Phillippe Aumont. Manuel specifically mentioned Aumont last night when asked about the bullpen’s struggles. He said everybody expected him to take a step forward this year. But he had an alarming 2.077 WHIP, averaging 6.9 walks per nine innings before he got sent to Triple-A last month. In eight appearances with the IronPigs, he has an 8.59 ERA and has walked 12 batters in 7 1/3 innings.
  • Jeremy Horst. He is second on the team with 26 appearances, but has a 5.55 ERA. That kind of sums up the bullpen’s struggles right there.
  • Raul Valdes. The Phillies sent him to Triple-A after posting a 7.65 ERA in 10 appearances.
  • Mike Stutes. He has had good results since coming up from Triple-A, carrying a 1.80 ERA in eight appearances. He has walked just one batter in 10 innings.
  • Justin De Fratus. The Phillies wanted him to open the season with the team, but they didn’t think his arm was where it needed to be. De Fratus has a 1.80 ERA and a fantastic 0.800 WHIP in 13 appearances. You wonder if he could move into Adams’ role if Adams continues to struggle. He has the coaching staff’s trust.
  • B.J. Rosenberg. Ruben Amaro Jr. called up Rosenberg on May 17 to replace Valdes, saying he was throwing the best and he had a big arm that could strike out people. But Rosenberg posted a 12.00 ERA in three appearances, following a 6.12 ERA in 22 appearances last season. Rosenberg throws hard, but he hasn’t proven he can get hitters out on a consistent basis.
  • Joe Savery. He has been with the team three times this season after throwing the ball well in Triple-A. But he has only pitched twice with the Phillies.
  • Jake Diekman. He has not pitched with the Phillies this season, but I include him here because they raved about his arm and upside, and with the struggles of Horst and Valdes he could have been called up at some point, except he can’t throw strikes. He has a 5.70 ERA and has walked 24 batters in 30 innings in 30 appearances with Lehigh Valley.

Aumont Talks Brawl, Fight for Phillies Bullpen Job

Phillippe AumontPhillippe Aumont rejoined Phillies camp today with his limbs intact and ready to compete for a job in the bullpen.

The Phillies are thankful for that.

He had been playing with Canada in the World Baseball Classic. It lost to Team USA over the weekend, ending its tournament run, but not before it provided the tournament’s most memorable moment when it brawled in the ninth inning in a game last week against Mexico. There were some legitimate haymakers thrown during the melee, including Phillies minor league outfielder Tyson Gillies tossing Mexican pitcher Alfredo Aceves to the ground like a rag doll.

Asked which NHL players he would have liked to have had at that moment, Aumont said Georges Laroque and Darcy Hordichuk.

“It was pretty intense,” he said this morning at Bright House Field. “It was the first time I’ve ever been in an actual brawl where people were going to town on (each other). … I was trying to stay out of trouble. I was more frozen than anything else when I got there. When I got there everything kind of separated. I looked out and tried not to get sucker punched or anything.”

Aumont described the postgame scene following Canada’s victory over Mexico like this: “Just a bunch of failed hockey players pumped up and ready to do another one.”

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Aumont? De Fratus? Cloyd? September Call Ups

MLB.com’s Jake Kaplan took a look yesterday at some of the potential September call-ups for the Phillies.

Read his story here.

I think of the guys currently on the 40-man roster Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman and Joe Savery are the most likely to be called up next month. De Fratus certainly would have been with the Phillies this season, but he had an elbow injury. He is back and throwing well. Aumont is dominant when he throws strikes. The Phillies want to get a look at him. Of course, Diekman and Savery have been with the team this season. The Phillies like Diekman a lot, but they will like him a lot more if he improves his command.

I only see Sebastian Valle coming up if Carlos Ruiz finishes the season on the DL.

Not sure Cesar Hernandez gets called up.

Tyler Cloyd? This is the guy I hear about constantly on Twitter and e-mail. Cloyd, who isn’t on the 40-man roster, is 11-1 with a 2.12 ERA in 19 starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He’s been great all season, but it’s safe to say the Phillies and other talent evaluators in baseball aren’t as enamored with Cloyd as fans are. I haven’t heard of any teams beating down the Phillies’ door to acquire him, and MLB.com doesn’t list Cloyd among the organization’s top 20 prospects. (That list is compiled through interviews with numerous baseball personnel people.)

Why isn’t Cloyd a top prospect? Simply put, he doesn’t have great stuff. He throws in the 85-89 mph range, which means he has to have pinpoint command to be successful. The Phillies must not believe his abilities to get out Triple-A hitters will translate to the big leagues. It’s the only way to explain why they chose a bullpen game over pitching him June 27. (I still maintain that was a mistake. Maybe Cloyd catches lightning in a bottle for one night. Raul Valdes and the rest of the bullpen were struggling at the time. Almost everybody in the park knew what would happen, and it did.)

Charlie Manuel said Wednesday he wasn’t sure if Kyle Kendrick would make his next start, but he quickly added he didn’t think he had too many other options. I’m really not sure which way the Phillies will go. But you can make a case for Cloyd to get a shot. I mean, maybe he can get out big-league hitters. Besides, what have you got to lose? If he makes a few starts in September, he struggles and the Phillies lose, so what? At least you know for sure. But if he comes up and does well … hey, isn’t that a nice little surprise? Maybe then he’s in the mix next season to get a spot start here or there.

Talent evaluation in baseball isn’t an exact science. If it were the Dodgers would have never let Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth go, Chase Utley wouldn’t have lasted until the 15th pick in the 2000 draft, Ryan Howard wouldn’t have lasted until the fifth round in 2001, Cole Hamels wouldn’t have lasted until the 17th pick in 2002, Juan Pierre wouldn’t have waited until late January to sign a Minor League contract, the Phillies wouldn’t have let Ryan Vogelsong and Jason Grilli go, they would have promoted Brandon Moss last season instead of trading for John Bowker and they wouldn’t have entered the previous two seasons betting on Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. to be everyday players.

Every team has their hits and misses in player evaluation. That’s just the way it is.

One thing to keep in mind: Minor League numbers don’t mean everything. And sometimes they don’t mean anything. Fans thought the Phillies were crazy for not promoting Matt Rizzotti the last couple years. The Phillies traded him to the Twins in March, and the Twins released him a short time later. He’s now with the A’s. I remember Joe Roa went 14-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 17 starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2002. Fans had a similar reaction then. How can they not call up Roa? The Phillies finally did. Roa went 4-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 14 appearances (11 starts) in 2002, but he returned to earth and went 0-2 with a 6.05 ERA in six appearances in 2003 before the Phillies released him.

Maybe Cloyd is a younger version of Roa. Or maybe he’s a guy that can be a good option as a fifth starter. The only way to find out is by pitching him. Maybe the Phillies will give him that chance before the end of the season.

Phillies Add Four to 40-Man

The Phillies announced today they have placed right-hander Phillippe Aumont, left-hander Jacob Diekman, catcher Sebastian Valle and outfielder Tyson Gillies on the 40-man roster.

Here’s a look at the four:

  • Aumont, 22, went 2-5 with seven saves and a 2.68 ERA in 43 appearances for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He struck out 78 batters in 53 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .216 batting average. The Phillies picture Aumont as a late-inning reliever for the Phillies, possibly as a closer. Baseball America ranked Aumont as the organization’s fifth-best prospect following the season.
  • Gillies, 23, has been unable to stay on the field since joining the Phillies because of injuries. He played in just three games for Class A Clearwater, but played for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. They believe he has potential. He just needs to get on the field and play.
  • Valle, 21, hit .284 with five homers and 40 RBIs in 91 games for Clearwater. He hit .368 against left-handed pitching. The Phillies signed Valle as an amateur free agent in 2006. Baseball America ranked Valle as the organizations’ third-best prospect.
  • Diekman, 23, went 0-1 with a 3.05 ERA and three saves in 53 appearances with Reading. He allowed 13 earned runs in 18 innings in his first 18 appearances, but had a 1.72 ERA over his final 35 appearances. He also struck out 83 batters in 65 innings and held opponents to a .199 average, including a .099 mark against left-handers. Diekman, who the Phillies selected in the 30th round in 2007, allowed one earned run and struck out 14 in 11 1/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League.

Early Returns on Lee Trade Not Good

Roy Oswalt has pitched so well for the Phillies that I haven’t heard anybody complain about the Cliff Lee trade lately.

(Thank God.)

But there was some interesting news yesterday regarding the Lee trade. Right-hander J.C. Ramirez, one of three players the Phillies received from Seattle for Lee, had surgery on his right hip last week. He is expected to be ready by Spring Training, but it capped a bad first year for the three prospects.

The Phillies demoted right-hander Phillippe Aumont, 21, from Double-A Reading (1-6, 7.43 ERA in 11 starts) to Single-A Clearwater (2-5, 4.48 ERA in 16 appearances). Outfielder Tyson Gillies, 21, missed most of the season with Reading (.238, two homers, six RBIs in 26 games) because of a hamstring injury, but that was the least of his problems. Pinellas County Sheriff’s officers arrested him last month for cocaine possession, which is a felony. He pleaded not guilty.

Ramirez, 22, had the best year of the three. He went 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA in 11 starts in Clearwater, and 3-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 13 starts in Reading.

“They’re all still 21 years old,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We’ve got a long way to go on them. We still view them as strong prospects for us. We’ll see how they develop.”

The Phillies converted Aumont from a reliever to a starter and changed his mechanics in Spring Training, which they attributed to his struggles. They are not sure if his future is in the rotation or the bullpen, although he remains a starter for now. They have said the same about Ramirez.

“The guys are still very young and it takes a lot of time for guys to develop sometimes,” Amaro said.

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Hamels Sharp, Lidge Sharp

hamels lean.jpg

Leaving Sun Life Stadium in a few minutes, but I thought I’d pass along a few Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge notes:

  • Hamels is 5-3 with a 1.79 ERA in his last 13 starts, and has allowed just one run in his last 31 2/3 innings. “It seems like he’s the Cole of ’06, ’07, ’08,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said. “He’s been lights out this year.”
  • Hamels threw a career-high 127 pitches, so he said an extra day of rest before Monday’s start against Atlanta will be beneficial.
  • Hamels snapped his streak of 25 consecutive scoreless innings when he allowed a run in the first inning.
  • His 13 strikeouts were the most for a Phillies pitcher since he struck out 13 Marlins on June 11, 2008.
  • He has 201 strikeouts this season, which is tied with Roy Halladay for second in the National League.
  • Lidge had not pitched since Sept. 6, but threw a perfect ninth inning to pick up his 22nd save. Lidge had missed a couple days because of a hyperextended right elbow. He said he felt fine.
  • Lidge is 0-0 with a 0.52 ERA and 12 saves in 13 opportunities in 18 appearances since July 31. In 17 1/3 innings, he has allowed just seven hits, two runs, one earned run and three walks. He has struck out 18 and opponents have hit just .119 against him.

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J.C. Ramirez, one of the three guys in the Cliff Lee trade, had surgery on his right hip last week. I’ll have more on this tomorrow, and how the early returns are not good with Phillippe Aumont‘s demotion to Class A Clearwater and Tyson Gillies‘ hamstring injuries and arrest for a felony cocaine possession.

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Call me crazy, but this photo of Hamels reminded me of the fight scenes in the Batman TV show, where they shot everything on an angle. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here and go to the 2:35 mark.

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Gillies Arrested for Cocaine Possession

UPDATED (5:30 p.m.)

Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies, who the organization acquired in the Cliff Lee trade, was arrested early Friday morning in Clearwater, Fla., on a felony charge of cocaine possession.

He is free on $2,000 bond.

The Phillies confirmed the arrest, but said, “because this is an open case, we will not comment further at this time.”

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Cecilia Barreda said the incident originally occurred June 11.

A patrol deputy spotted Gillies standing on the shoulder of Rt. 19., near Enterprise Blvd., in Clearwater. Gillies was waving a white shirt in the air at passing motorists.

The deputy approached Gillies and noticed he appeared intoxicated. Gillies told the deputy he was waving his shirt because he was looking for his friends, and he thought it would help them see him. He also said he was walking back to his hotel, which was the La Quinta Inn.

Gillies said he had spent several hours that evening at The Freaki Tiki Bar, which is not far from where the deputy spotted him.

(more…)

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