Phillippe Aumont Impressive in Win Over Pirates

The Phillies took Thursday afternoon’s affair against the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 in ten innings. Bullpen candidate Phillippe Aumont, the prize from Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade, looked sharp in one inning of work, featuring these beauties:

The 6’7″ right-hander posted a 13.4 K/9 in 53.2 innings between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year. Control has always been his issue, as his career Minor League walk rate sits just below 5.0 per nine innings. He has struck out three and walked none in two innings of work, a good sign for the Phillies’ dark horse reliever.

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12 comments

  1. Ben

    March 08, 2012 06:00 PM

    I feel like we may have undersold Aumont’s chances to make the team out of camp. I noted that he was listed with the “big boys” on the pitching schedule, while Savery and Schwimer are in the back-up, mop-up group.\

    With Willis’ struggles I think another spot is up for grabs, and it’s not inconceivable for Aumont to open the season in the ‘pen with Pap/Bastardo/Qualls/KK/Big Truck/one of Stutes/Herndog.

  2. Dan K.

    March 08, 2012 06:07 PM

    Aumont has amazing stuff. His fastball is lively with both mid-90s velocity and sinking motion. His cutter is devastating because it breaks late and his arm motion is exactly the same as his fastball delivery. And his curve has some serious bite. His pure stuff is exactly the reason teams kept trying to make him a starter. If he keeps a handle on the walks, he’ll be devastating. But, at the moment, that is a big if.

  3. Sean

    March 09, 2012 09:45 AM

    Not so optimistic that they’ll let him on the club out of Spring Training unluckily. Can’t imagine that he’s not on the squad by the All Star Break and getting close to that set-up spot.

  4. Phillie697

    March 09, 2012 10:31 AM

    Dan K.,

    Aumont is 23. He’s still young. He’s still got time, and 13.4 K/9 is Kimbrel territory; Kimbrel had something of a walk issue too.

  5. Dan K.

    March 09, 2012 11:18 AM

    @697,

    I’m certainly not saying he doesn’t have the potential or that he won’t be something special. Just in context of him trying to make the team this year, it seems unlikely given his control issues. I have faith that, in time, he’ll figure it out and will graduate to the big leagues to mow down hitters. But if I were a betting man, I’d place my bet that he doesn’t make the team out of spring training this year. Next year is a different story (or even by September, really).

    I should have been more clear with what I meant. His control, at the moment, is iffy and I believe it will be the reason he’s not with the big club to start this year. But once he gets that control down (and I do believe he will) he will be (even more of) a force to be reckoned with for years to come. It will be fun watching the fully finished product. Even more fun than it is watching these clips.

  6. Phillie697

    March 09, 2012 01:25 PM

    Here is Kimbrel’s numbers in 2010:

    20.2 innings, 17.42 (!!!) K/9, 6.97 (!!!) BB/9, 0.44 ERA, 1.53 FIP. The 17.42 K/9 was a bit fluky since that was even higher than what his minor league numbers would indicate, but he certainly was successful in the majors even with a high walk rate; it happens when you’re striking out half of the hitters you face.

    If he’s striking out hitters at 13.4 K/9 pace in spring training, I’d hand him a roster spot right now, walks or no walks.

  7. Mike Sanders

    March 10, 2012 11:06 AM

    In Aumont’s minor league career, he is 11-26, with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

    Over Kimbrel’s minor league career, he went 8-7, with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

    It’s night and day, and it’s not just the walks. Aumont also surrenders a hit an inning.

    I’d love to see Aumont turn into something, but much like with Galvis, I’m not going to allow 1 good year to erase 5 mediocre ones.

  8. Dan K.

    March 10, 2012 02:13 PM

    @Mike,

    1) Sample size.
    2) If I’m not mistaken, Kimbrel was never a starter in the minors. Aumont got knocked around as a starter, but has been lights out as a reliever. There is a difference. It’s much easier to get people out when they only see you once. Plus you can put more into your pitches for 1 inning than 7.
    3) Wins are meaningless for evaluating pitchers.

  9. Burton

    March 10, 2012 06:07 PM

    For the record, I’m an Aumont fan. The first splitter looks great, but the second one is awfully high up in the zone – if its not a #6o-something Pittsburgh Pirate batting, it could be in the seats.

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