Two weeks ago, Phillippe Aumont arrived in the visiting clubhouse at Petco Park eager to put an early-season, minor league demotion behind him and fulfill his promise as a back-end-of-the-bullpen reliever.
But Aumont, who has regular battles with corralling his command, found himself facing another trip backward on Tuesday. He was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The Phils purchased the contract of righthander Luis Garcia to replace Aumont on the active roster.
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee was blunt in assessing Aumont following the roster move:
"Consistency is a big factor and sometimes it’s hard to use him in some situations," Dubee said of the 24-year-old Aumont. " He needs more reps. He needs to go down there and pitch. He hasn’t been getting any groundball outs, which is disturbing. I think he’s got one ground ball out this month. ... He should be a sinkerball, ground ball machine. His fastball has been flat. So, give him some more reps.
Aumont pitched in six games since being recalled from the IronPigs two weeks ago. He had as many walks and hit batsman (four total) as he had strikeouts and opponents were hitting .304 against him with a .393 OBP.
Dubee would like to see Aumont adapt a longer stride, which would enable to take advantage of one of his biggest assets, his height, and get more on top of hitters (think Randy Johnson).
"He’s hard to give a lot of stuff to, because what he’s doing, he feels comfortable doing," Dubee said of getting Aumont to change his mechanics. "Personally I think he needs more length in his stride. For a big guy he should be getting out on top of hitters. But you try to do that there is not that comfort zone, that trust zone. Those are things hopefully they’ll chip away at and get him some length, get him on top of hitters more often, throwing from 60-feet at 6-foot-7. But that’s tough to do at this level when you’re looking for consistency and looking for performance. And now all of a sudden you’re trying to change it. They’ll go back to work on it. He’ll get out more on a regular basis."