[Cue 30-for-30 Voice]
What if I told you, Phillippe Aumont would be removed from the 40-man roster. What if I told you, that no one would want him, and that he’d accept his assignment and return to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. And then what if I told you he’d finish the 2015 season in the starting rotation for the Philadelphia Phillies. That hasn’t happened yet, but it could. Here, In the Good Aumont.
After pitching four innings on Sunday afternoon, Phillippe Aumont was shipped to Reading. Well, not really. He was added to the Reading roster so that Mike Nesseth and Cesar Jimenez would be available for last night’s game. Trust me, no one’s driving him to New Hampshire today–some other player will make the drive down 222 in time for Reading’s Friday Home Opener. The way Phillippe’s pitching on this short season, the only direction he’ll be going is up–or maybe over to the hockey game tonight–so long as the good results continue.
What’s more interesting is the amount of innings Phillippe is pitching. Prior to 4 on Sunday, his previous outing was two. He’s being stretched out, and in interviews admits that he hasn’t completely ruled out being a starter again. Manager Dave Brundage didn’t seem quite as open to the idea, but you never know. Another flame-throwing reliever we had one time, converted to a starter with pretty good results. His name was Scott Mathieson.
Aumont is not Mathieson, but his mental game seems to be playing up with multiple inning outings. He’s not feeling the pressure of “I have to get out of this one inning and do it now.” Some guys thrive on that, and Phillippe even admitted in an interview I read that it is exhilarating. But, exhilaration doesn’t always equal success. Concentrating on getting ahead in the count, pounding the strike zone, and keeping guys off balance knowing that you might see them again in the next inning or three, seems to be working well right now.
Aumont has pitched 6 innings over two games–admittedly an extremely small sample–but has a 1.50 ERA and has allowed only 4 hits. He’s allowed 3 runs, but only 1 earned (one of the errors was his, at first base). He has 7 K’s against only 3 BB’s and opponents are hitting only .182 against him. His WHIP is 1.17–the best he’s had since 25 games with Reading in 2011. There have been no home runs allowed as of this point–and no hit batsmen or wild pitches. I’ve been hearing that he’s using a splitter or sinker of some type to get ahead of batters, a four-seam heater to keep them off balance, and then the breaking pitch or the sinker again to finish them off. From what I understand, the sinker and the four-seam look very similar coming out of his hand, but have a velocity and trajectory difference which makes them difficult to differentiate and adjust to.
The future is unwritten: No, they’re not making a 30-for-30 about Phillippe just yet. He’s going to need to be consistent and prove it over and over again. But if he’s thinking he wants to start, and that he can be effective for four innings or more, AAA is a great place to test it out. There will be plenty of holes in the rotation, double-headers and the like, where he can prove himself–if he’s willing. And, it sounds like he is. As much I’ve been a detractor in the past, this should be interesting to watch. Plus, if a bad outing is going to happen–and it does to the best of them–as a fan I’d rather have it happen at the start rather than when we’re trying to lock down a 6-4 win with a guy throwing the ball to the screen every other pitch.
Good luck, Phillippe. A couple more good outings and I’ll buy you a sandwich. BFD, Arby’s, Firehouse–whatever you want.
See you at the park,