It could be difficult for the Phillies to add complementary pieces via waivers this August, given their low waiver position and their apparent inability to add much payroll.
But there are some names to watch down at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, particularly those of Phillippe Aumont and Michael Schwimer. Manager Charlie Manuel singled them out yesterday when asked about his desire to add a bullpen piece prior to the Aug. 31 deadline for playoff eligibility.
Aumont has experienced a renaissance this season after a miserable 2010 in which he went 3-11 with a 5.68 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9, starting at Double-A Reading before being demoted to High-A Clearwater. Aumont, who was the most highly-touted of the three players the Phillies received for Cliff Lee back in December of 2009, had spent big league spring training with the team while preparing to return to a starting role after working out of the bullpen in Seattle.
This year, the Phillies moved Aumont back to relief full time.
Phillies minor league personnel have raved about the 22-year-old righthander, and you can see why when looking at his line. Aumont has logged 10 innings since his promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, striking out 17, walking six, and allowing three runs on 11 hits.
At Double-A Reading, he posted a 2.32 ERA, 11.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 25 appearances.
When the Phillies acquired Aumont, they viewed him as a potential back-of-the-bullpen piece. It would not be surprising to see him with the Phillies at some point this season, even if it is just after rosters expand in September.
Schwimer's role is a little less clear. He has posted impressive numbers at Lehigh Valley, logging 62 1/3 innings in 42 appearances with a 1.76 ERA, 11.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. But he has been passed over for a promotion to the majors on a couple of occasions this season.
Still, he could get a shot.
In other minor league news, a couple of infielders who have boosted their stock over the past year were promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley: Freddy Galvis, a slick-fielding short stop who has finally shown some improvement at the plate after struggling for most of his career, and Carlos Rivero, a waiver wire pickup off the Indians this spring. Rivero had struggled at the plate in 2009 and 2010, but is hitting .285/.340/.449 with 11 home runs, 31 doubles and 82 strikeouts in 390 at-bats at Double-A Reading.
Rivero could be an intriguing name to watch next spring training. He is only 23 years old, yet has an impressive frame for an infielder. He was a short stop in the Indians system, but has played third base this year.
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