CLEARWATER, Fla. — The talent contained in Phillippe Aumont's right arm is obvious. So is the polish he still lacks.
Aumont was one of four pitchers sent to minor-league camp Tuesday morning by the Phillies. In addition, Michael Schwimer was optioned while David Purcey and Jeremy Horst were reassigned.
The 23-year-old Aumont is one of the team's top pitching prospects. He allowed four runs (two earned) in four innings on six hits and four walks. He did strike out four.
But after a shaky outing Saturday in which he allowed three stolen bases, threw a wild pitch and walked two, Rich Dubee bemoaned his current state.
"He's erratic," Dubee said. "Slow delivery to the plate. He's inconsistent. He has a great arm. Great stuff. But we have a little work to do there.
"He has to be more consistent with his fastball and his secondary stuff. He has to be quicker to the plate. Too much of a chance to be a track meet against him."
That work will come under the guise of Rod Nichols, the pitching coach at triple-A Lehigh Valley. But it's not unreasonable to suggest Aumont will be pitching in Philadelphia sometime in 2012.
Schwimer, 26, also appeared in four games and allowed two runs. He struck out five with one walk. He'll provide relief depth.
Purcey, a lefthander, allowed two runs in seven innings. He pitched for three major-league teams in 2011. Horst, acquired in the Wilson Valdez trade, had a 6.75 ERA in four outings.
The Phillies now have 41 players in camp. It's 38 if you don't count the injured Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Justin De Fratus.
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